Questions concerning the use of graduate students as course instructors, usually under the supervision of a faculty member.

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12
votes
10answers
549 views

Advice for first time TA in mathematics

I recently committed to taking a mathematics TA position which begins in a couple of months and entails a weekly exercise class and the correction of problem sets handed in by students. This is my ...
16
votes
8answers
2k views

What English expression resembles the German “Tutor”?

In Germany, it is common for students to hold “Tutor” positions, which entail a weekly teaching class (e.g., 90 minutes) and the correction of exercise sheets handed in by students. I would like to ...
5
votes
2answers
80 views

How to increase participation in tutorials, as a teaching assistant?

I will be a teaching assistant for a couple of "tutorials" this semester. Basically, I just have a list of problems that we have to go over in the tutorial. Last semester, the Calculus for Engineering ...
30
votes
5answers
5k views

Undergrad students grading other undergrads: ethical, professional, or even legal?

As an undergraduate, I've been working as a TA in an electronics lab for a while. Recently I have been asked to grade other students' lab reports. I have also done some oral examination, but I guess ...
1
vote
2answers
79 views

As a lab assistant, how many hours per week am I expected to be helping out? [closed]

I am in my third year of computer engineering studies, and was offered a position as lab assistant in the electronics lab. I am oriented towards software, so I'm not exactly interested in the subject ...
0
votes
2answers
162 views

Writing an email to a professor for teaching assistantship for the second time

I am a graduate student and I had asked for TA/grader position, with a few professors at my institution in fall semester. But at that time there was no position available. Now I want to send another ...
3
votes
2answers
964 views

Dealing with late assignments as a teacher assistant

I am a graduate student and I'm T.A. of a graduate course. The professor asked us to give some assignments to the students. I have done so and a homework assignment, which contains an optional part ...
5
votes
3answers
238 views

Pros and cons of teaching assistantship as a masters student intending to go on to industry job

Background: In the final year of my masters. Not seeking to apply for a PhD program in the future. Situation: I have a potential opportunity to TA a grad level course. Highly confused about taking it ...
33
votes
4answers
5k views

Is it ethical to give (paid) private tutorials for a student in a module I am TA'ing?

My TAing mostly involves helping students working on their programming assignments during classes. A student asked me to give him private, paid, tutorials for the module, being concerned that all ...
46
votes
7answers
9k views

Student wants to show everybody how much he knows

I have read this question, where the OP asked how to handle silly questions. In the excellent answer of Irwin, the 6th point attracted my attention: If it's a matter of the student talking on and ...
12
votes
3answers
492 views

Time management as a TA in mathematics

I just started being a TA in mathematics at a university in continental Europe. My big problem is my time management: I feel like I don't have time for my own research. During a working time of 40h ...
-5
votes
1answer
150 views

Why do many people want TA positions? Should I remain in a US graduate program or go back to my grad Program in Brazil? [closed]

I started a math grad program in Brazil in March this year. In July I received an offer to go to a US math grad school with a teaching assistant position. Since it is the USA and we think in Latin ...
41
votes
13answers
6k views

What are some good ways to keep students coming to lectures?

Having taught calculus for several semesters, I've noticed that the number of students attending lectures are gradually declining (especially for the 9am session). I would not be worried if they have ...
65
votes
14answers
13k views

Students staying hours past end of office hours

Background: I am a fourth year math graduate student working as a TA for an introduction to proofs course with a focus on analysis. I really enjoy the teaching component of my position as a graduate ...
76
votes
14answers
17k views

As a TA, how to react if I come across a Facebook group in which students insult me?

I am a PhD student in Europe and also TA for some bachelor's degree classes for my supervisor. Just by chance, I have found an open Facebook group (normally, the group aims to create an interaction ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Teaching a student (as a TA) when there is flirting, etc. and mutual interest

I am a graduate student with an assistantship. I met an undergraduate and we hit it off (talking about sex, but not sex with each other). But now I assist a class with her (and I'm not good at hiding ...
12
votes
3answers
353 views

What are some good ways to lead a discussion session for a TA in a graduate-level STEM class?

I'm a TA for a class on graduate-level Digital Signal Processing, and one of my responsibilities is to lead a discussion session. It's a 50-minute session that happens once a week, and the professor ...
14
votes
8answers
3k views

How should a teaching assistant explain his absence to the course instructor?

As an international TA getting accustomed to the landscape of my University, I managed to earn the ire of my instructor/professor for having not shown up during the discussion/office hours. In a ...
51
votes
12answers
11k views

What to do with students coming to office hours asking to check their homework?

As a TA, how to handle the situation where a student comes to office hours asking to check their homework? I.e. the student hands in their solution to the homework and ask the TA to check for any ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Should a TA be doing software development for the professor?

I am a PhD student and a new TA for a class. I receive no extra money for TA'ing. Instead, my TA'ing offsets my advisors need to fund me. The professor I'm TA'ing for knows that I have advanced ...
61
votes
5answers
10k views

TA talks to others about students, what to do?

I am an undergraduate student at a university in the US. Unfortunately, I have a concern regarding one TA of a class I took this past year. This individual insults other students in the university ...
8
votes
2answers
248 views

How to find the right balance between a challenging and an enjoyable mathematics exercise session?

Next semester, I will be leading exercise sessions in a first year course of mathematics. More precisely, the course is Linear Algebra and the audience consists of young, first year undergraduate ...
1
vote
2answers
103 views

Paid leave for a graduate teaching assistant

For quite some times this question has popped up to my mind. In many jobs, you can take paid leave for some days. As a PhD student (F1-visa) in US, I am being supported by the department in the form ...
4
votes
1answer
112 views

Should I start working as a teacher at a different uni while I'm still finishing my PhD?

I am currently doing a PhD in maths, in the UK. UK PhD scholarship are typically only 3 years, and mine can't be extended. I do need every day of these three years to finish my thesis. For a small ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the difference between a teaching assistant and an instructor?

It seems to me that the terms "Teaching Assistant" and "Instructor" refer to a variety of positions. At some places, a teaching assistant is responsible for things like helping the actual lecturer by ...
0
votes
2answers
182 views

Can someone with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a Masters of Business Administration teach undergraduate courses in Political Science?

I've read that it's quite common among students to take a graduate program which is different from the bachelor's degree. I was wondering if it is possible for someone with a bachelor's degree in ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Getting to assist in the course of your choice during TAship

I am an incoming Graduate Student on a TAship. I have completed the course in my undergraduation and am currently working on a project in the same area. I wish to know what else can be done to ...
3
votes
1answer
420 views

Professor doesn't tell TAs what should be on exams until the day of the exam

As a TA I am responsible for preparing problems and solution sets for the exams. Last time we had an exam, the professor didn't tell us which problems he wanted to select for the exam until the ...
24
votes
3answers
4k views

As a TA, how should I address the professor's difficult curriculum?

This is my first semester being a TA for this course. However, the professor has changed since I took the course. The content seems to have grown in difficulty since I originally took the course, and ...
2
votes
1answer
327 views

TA-ship requirement for funded international applicants

As I have read from other questions in this SE site, for all international students who apply in PhD program, it is required that to be TA for that department they have applied to. And in the other ...
25
votes
4answers
4k views

How should I handle students who ask questions that are “beyond the scope of the course” as a TA

One of the most common replies I have gotten as a student in engineering is the phrase "what you are asking is beyond the scope of this course". But I always found it a bit funny coming from the prof ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Feedback for a student showing improvement

One of the students whose work I'm grading has just handed in a piece of work which is much better than what I've come to expect of them after several classes. I was just about to write some rather ...
15
votes
4answers
4k views

What should I do as a teaching assistant when I find cheating behavior from actual grading?

Update: I found 8 students cheating in today's quiz despite stern warning and personal threatening to kick them out of the classroom if I notice cheating behavior again. 4 of them also likely cheated ...
4
votes
1answer
184 views

What problems are caused by pedagogical blogging about a class?

I am a course TA and I instruct a class of about 20 undergrads. I'm planning to make a public pedagogy blog. I think there could be some potential problems with this. For example, if the students in ...
48
votes
10answers
9k views

What do I do as a depressed and incompetent TA?

My mental health is declining and as a result I haven't been a good TA. For example I let my students out of section early because I was too tired to present some of the material, and I did not ...
9
votes
2answers
993 views

Department not giving me TAships after a dispute with professor, what should I do?

I got in a dispute with a professor I TA'd for, and now my department is not giving me TAships. What should I do? I am required to teach more classes in my department in order to satisfy a ...
130
votes
9answers
14k views

Prof's neurological health is declining rapidly. What can I (TA) do?

I'm a law student acting as a teaching assistant/fellow for a tenured and notable law professor. Between last year when I took the course myself and now when I am a TA/TF, his mental acuity and health ...
1
vote
2answers
389 views

How does a prospective applicant fail to qualify for RAship, but fit the bill for TAship?

I wish to know how the Graduate Admissions Committees for top Universities in the USA decide about awarding Teaching Assistantship to a prospective student. If one had preferred both 'RAship' and ...
4
votes
2answers
502 views

As a TA, what should I do about an error in the professor's lecture that I repeated in the lecture notes?

Here is the somewhat awkward situation. I am a TA for a class that I have never taken before. The professor (probably) knows this, but I don't think the students have caught on, since it is a ...
32
votes
5answers
2k views

As an instructor, how to show my appreciation for my TAs' hard work?

As an instructor, I have been fortunate to have had some great TAs, who went above and beyond what was expected of them, and put in a lot of effort to ensure students' learning. I would really like ...
15
votes
1answer
454 views

What are positive and negative outcomes of requiring Ph.D. students to take a pedagogy course?

My mathematics department (where I am employed as faculty) is considering requiring its Ph.D. students to take a two-semester course in pedagogy and educational theory. All of them also TA lower level ...
73
votes
5answers
4k views

Strategies for teaching with facial aphasia (inability to recognize faces aka prosopagnosia, face-blindness)

I'm a math grad student in my first year, which means that I have not yet taught a class (in my program first years grade or provide one-on-one tutoring for students who struggle in calculus). I have ...
1
vote
1answer
167 views

Tools for managing and scheduling meetings with students?

My advisor has been very busy and a lot of us hardly get quality time with him. he also acknowledges this and says it is usually very difficult to manage appointments and other commitments. He has ...
2
votes
3answers
181 views

Do European PhD programs offer the opportunity to take on teaching assistantship duties?

I know that, in North America, the opportunity is given (and often mandated) to take on teaching assistantships while in a PhD program. I knew that, often, European PhD programs pay you to do RA ...
13
votes
2answers
249 views

Suggestions for working effectively with international students from a non-western culture

I am a Masters graduate student studying finance at a large public university located in a major city. Recently, I accepted a job as a teaching assistant. A significant number of students are from ...
58
votes
5answers
9k views

How to handle possibly subtly flirtatious emails from students?

I got a series of emails from a student. At first, I thought she was being over-polite. But now things are making me very uncomfortable. For instance, at every email she thanks me for giving her good ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

What are the benefits of working as a teaching assistant?

I am a first-year international master student in a US statistics department. I am offered a 10-hour teaching assistant appointment next semester. I am considering taking it. I have no idea how to ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

How should a teaching-assistant calm his anxious student down in an exam?

At the class quizzes or at the mid- or final exams, I can see that some students are too anxious and nervous. They are not really weak students but too much anxiousness brings their efficiency down ...
42
votes
4answers
6k views

How should a teaching-assistant deal with an angry student?

This happened two semesters ago, when I was teaching-assistant to a class of bachelor students. The lecturer had such marking weights, 30% for teaching assistant class including all the homework and ...
26
votes
4answers
2k views

How to express dissension as a grad TA while maintaining professionalism

I have a problem with the courses I'm TAing. I am a math PhD student at a large (supposedly good) state university where the lower-division math classes are taught in the "discussion section" format ...