I am a graduate student in NYC and would like to learn how to ask my advisor and my professor to shift from research assistantship to teaching?

I have been working on a research project for one semester which I am not interested in anymore. I am more interested in teaching experience and need to explain it clearly.

Since my research colleagues are graduating nowadays, my professor distributes all the tasks on me out of the schedule. I need a certain schedule because of my parenting situation.

Could you help me to figure out how to explain it to the advisor and to my professor too?

Thank you and Happy New Year to all!

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    It seems that you want to have a teaching assistantship to get out of the research duties. Would a graduate teaching assistant position actually give you a better schedule? In my experiences, you would have to teach on top of the duties of a graduate research assistant. Would it be out of the question to speak with your advisor about more appropriate research workloads? – 86BCP2432T Jan 2 at 4:16
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    What degree are you enrolled in? Masters, PhD, ...? – Anonymous Physicist Jan 2 at 5:28
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    Suppose both had the same schedule. Which would you prefer, teaching or research. – Patricia Shanahan Jan 2 at 9:29

Let me suggest a few things. First, having some teaching experience is useful for most beginning academics. So a TA has value in itself. It shouldn't be hard to "sell" that. However, the professor now funning you has no input into who is a TA. That is normally a department decision. You apply there for a position, not to a particular professor. You may have little control over your schedule as a TA, but it will be fixed, at least, so perhaps you can work around that.

Next, your relationship with the professors needs to be managed separately. They are probably depending on you for important work. If you just quit the project they might be unhappy enough to negatively affect your future, at least in the short term. But having family responsibilities is a reasonable enough reason for changing things around. But you should, I think, negotiate an exit, leaving the project in a good state. You want their attitude to be "Sorry to see you go, but we understand."

I would talk to whoever in the department is responsible for TAs first, so that you know whether a position would be open to you. In some fields (math) there is usually a need for lots of TAs. But you would probably be assisting in lower level courses, which might be a bit boring. That might be good, or not, depending on your other responsibilities.

And these are the kinds of discussions/negotiations that need to be done face-to-face, not by email.

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