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

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6
votes
1answer
112 views

Asking Professor for teaching assistantship

I am an undergraduate student and have taken a course which interests me a lot(Details won't matter I guess). The course is split into lectures and lab sessions. The lab prof had a graduate student ...
5
votes
1answer
200 views

How much teaching is expected on a CV for a graduating PhD student (mathematics)?

In previous comments/discussion (which I cannot find at this moment) a few people from this site noted that PhD students (in math/CS) should make sure they acquire a good amount of teaching experience ...
3
votes
1answer
105 views

Strategies for getting involved in students' work during labs?

As a TA I conduct computer laboratory classes (the lecture is conducted by one of the professors). These are part-time studies, so labs take place during weekends, 3 clock hours each. Some students ...
3
votes
4answers
172 views

Is TAing a necessary evil?

My understanding is that Masters and PhD students often need to TA -- even if they're already research assistants to a professor. I'm a first year undergraduate who took courses heavily TA-reliant ...
3
votes
1answer
935 views

Do graduate schools increase assistantship stipends if the student is accompanied by a spouse or dependent?

Usually a TA stipend is only given to cover the expenses of a single student. I have received a stipend of about $19000 for 2 semesters (9 months) and a summer fellowship ($4000). Is it appropriate to ...
6
votes
1answer
715 views

Can professors hire assistants from their own salary?

Usually teaching assistants or research assistants will be hired by money from the department or grants, but can they be hired by a direct pay from a professor's salary?
10
votes
1answer
391 views

How does closing down a department affect a PhD student?

How does closing down a department affect the value of a PhD and your later academic career? If someone has joined a university for a PhD in transportation, and that department is closed down, and ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Why does the director of graduate studies want me to keep my TAship, even though I obtained a scholarship of my government?

I am a first year math phd student. I could get a scholarship from my government and notified the director of graduate studies of my department (which is now my provisional advisor) that I wish to ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Someone reported cheating during a quiz, but I didn't catch it myself

There was a weekly quiz in a TA discussion section I led today. During the quiz I was writing things I planned to talk on the board and didn't pay attention to students. Then one student suddenly ...
147
votes
11answers
19k views

How to deal with a student who most likely has a mental condition, and keeps arguing with me in class?

I am a TA for an introductory computer programming course at a university in the US. There is one student in particular who, during lecture, will argue with me about every point I make, which eats up ...
9
votes
7answers
283 views

Should I agree to teach a class for my supervisor even though I don't get any acknowledgement for it?

I'm not contractually obligated to teach in my postdoc position, but she just asked me as a favor... I don't mind of course, but I'd rather be formally acknowledged as co-teaching on the syllabus, ...
24
votes
16answers
3k 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
3k 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
90 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 ...
31
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
131 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
562 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
977 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
259 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 ...
38
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 ...
48
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
537 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 ...
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 ...
66
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
390 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 ...
52
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 ...
62
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
274 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
116 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
114 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
5k 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
212 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
442 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
386 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
195 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 ...
52
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
1k 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 ...
133
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
421 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
543 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 ...