Questions tagged [teaching-assistant]

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

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17 votes
5 answers
7k views

Being undermined as a TA over grading

I have marked several writing assignments for this course and the grade grubbing from this cohort was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced as a TA. The primary instructor and I were given a heads up ...
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-2 votes
2 answers
346 views

how to deal with difficult students who do not reply to teacher's email?

I hope all is well, I find myself in a situation where one student keeps a grim face when I teach. It seems he is not happy with the way I deliver the material. This makes me feel uncomfortable and it ...
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  • 2,498
2 votes
1 answer
63 views

Should I ask the program coordinator regarding an offered PhD TAship for 11 months?

I have been offered a Ph.D. position in the USA where the offer says 'the admission comes with an 11 month per year teaching assistantship that carries a $2,000/month stipend, health insurance, and a ...
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  • 1,928
40 votes
9 answers
8k views

What to do if you are assigned to TA a course you are not qualified to teach?

I am a PhD student in an Applied Math program. Recently, we received our TA assignments for the next quarter. To my surprise, I was assigned to TA a graduate-level class that I had never taken before ...
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42 votes
7 answers
12k views

My peers think I slept with my overly friendly TA - what do I do?

I am a female undergraduate student and in a bit of a situation here. Last semester, I had a male graduate teaching assistant for one of my classes, and I got the very strong impression for months ...
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0 votes
1 answer
128 views

Are there universities with permanent long-term tutor positions?

In the two universities I studied at, as well as in the university I am currently teaching at, the tutors (teaching assistants) are usually master students. This means that they work for two years, ...
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5 votes
2 answers
143 views

How to communicate students' feedback about a professor as a TA

I'm a TA. Recently a few students (good students) approached me, because they are having a hard time retaining the information from the main professor's lectures. (They think he is putting too much ...
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  • 51
6 votes
4 answers
1k views

Do you graduate slower with TA funding for PhD students?

I am in computer science in the usa with a PHD offer. I’ve been told that if u get funded with a TA position, it doesn’t necessarily slow your graduation time. Is this true? It seems obvious to me ...
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  • 1,642
6 votes
9 answers
4k views

Is it unprofessional that my TA texted me on a Saturday night?

I had an academic issue during the week and I reached out about via text (he is okay with this method of communication. In fact, he gave me his number without me asking for it). I reached out to him ...
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0 votes
0 answers
291 views

Dating my TA after the fall semester [duplicate]

Long story short, my TA and I have expressed romantic feelings for each other; I’m a man while she’s a woman, if that matters. We’ve not acted on our feelings yet, but now that grades are submitted ...
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10 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is it normal for a professor to contact only one specific TA regarding the course?

I am one of the teaching assistants for a course with multiple TAs. However, the professor keeps sending all the important information regarding the course, like when the exams are, information about ...
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  • 123
6 votes
2 answers
252 views

Department forcing me to teach a course even though my advisor has funds available to fund me from a grant

My advisor has funds for me to use for research from his grant so that I don't have to teach in my final semester. Unfortunately my department is denying the request and forcing me to teach a course ...
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  • 355
1 vote
1 answer
519 views

Am I being taken advantage of as a teaching assistant?

I'm a valedictorian of a university and wanted to continue the research path by applying for a teaching assistant position at my faculty. After submitting the profile, the faculty announced that I ...
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  • 121
0 votes
0 answers
58 views

Summer or part-time teaching as a PhD student

I'm a PhD student in math/applied math. I hope to become a professor eventually, and would like more teaching experience (my program doesn't provide much). It is possible and/or recommended to get an ...
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  • 243
0 votes
3 answers
158 views

Do outside-funded graduate students normally have TA or grading responsibilities in the US?

Assuming a student has full funding from an outside source. Do the TA and grading responsibilities become optional?
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6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Best practices after the termination of your teaching assistantship

My university is an "at will" employer. Graduate students are not unionized. I'm a PhD student and I'm sensing a possibility for a TAship termination, so I want to explore possibilities. (1) ...
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18 votes
8 answers
5k views

Dealing with a micromanaging instructor, as a teaching assistant

I'm a teaching assistant at a US university for a calculus class. My major duties are to write worksheets and then grade them along with the homework. I have been a TA long enough (5 years now) to ...
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2 votes
2 answers
278 views

Am I too young to be a TA for a Master's programme?

I will graduate from my Master's programme in a week. I did exceptionally well and landed a TA position within the same department. I am truly humbled by the faith that my professors have put in me ...
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7 votes
3 answers
535 views

Got negative teaching reviews, can this affect my prospects for postdoc

I’m a sociology PhD student in the EU. Back in September, I started teaching a recitation class. My MSc is from another institution (which is also in another country – I moved from Finland to France......
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  • 1,208
0 votes
2 answers
185 views

Is it unusual for UK univerisities to give tuition waivers to teaching assistants?

I've been checking the websites of different UK universities for teaching assistantship benefits. None of the websites I've visited so far disclose the specific benefits that TAs receive. So, I wonder ...
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1 vote
1 answer
117 views

Is it polite to ask about scholarship/assistantship opportunities during a Ph.D. interview at a UK university?

I am scheduled for an interview in August for a Ph.D. program that I applied to at a UK university. However, even if I get an offer of place on the program, I would not be able to accept it unless I ...
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  • 11
4 votes
2 answers
314 views

Are undergraduate TAs appropriate/ normal in upper level courses?

I came back to school after a long break (5+ years) and jumped right back into higher level courses (junior and senior level courses). First thing I noticed was that a professor did not lecture or ...
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5 votes
3 answers
231 views

As a TA how to ask for more time to prepare tutorials

I am currently a graduate TA and my duties include preparing tutorials for an undergrad course, we are supposed to prepare the sessions based on the material sent to us by the professor. The problem ...
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22 votes
10 answers
11k views

I've developed a close relationship with my past graduate teaching assistant, and I'm very interested in her: is it appropriate to pursue this?

The graduate teaching assistant I'm interested in taught one of my introductory courses. She needed research assistants, so I decided to join her lab. From all this we became very close. Ever since ...
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12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is it okay to publish less and teach more during your PhD? (CS USA)

Background: I read this Quora post where someone mentioned they TA'ed pretty much their entire PhD tenure and took up extra TA spots as well for the same because they really liked teaching. The person ...
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  • 1,430
4 votes
2 answers
495 views

Is my university using TA's excessively?

Currently, at a broad level, the scenario I am observing is as follows: Tasks by Instructor (assistant professor, associate professor, professor) Collecting presentations from either the internet or ...
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  • 7,449
32 votes
14 answers
17k views

What to do with students requesting deadline extension due to the death of a relative (but without a doctor's note)?

I am currently working as a teaching assistant for several courses in STEM in the US at the college level. During the past two semesters since Covid19 started, I have noticed that whenever a deadline ...
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  • 1,015
20 votes
4 answers
5k views

How do I voice my opinion that the teaching of students is being neglected?

I'm in a Phd program right now and it seems there are some unethical practices going on in my department. Examples include: testing over irrelevant material or material that was not really covered, ...
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  • 311
6 votes
0 answers
244 views

Losing one's teaching assistantship due to weird circumstances [closed]

So my best friend is sort of in a strange situation. We are in the same graduate program. Here's the story. Last semester I was stuck in a class with a professor with an extremely weird way of running ...
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5 votes
3 answers
469 views

How to grade unequal contributions to group work as a TA bound by instructor's rules

I am a TA for a freshman course in the humanities at a US university. Due to pandemic restrictions, the class is entirely online and the medium through which students learn is Canvas. Lectures are pre-...
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  • 3,161
38 votes
5 answers
9k views

How can I deal with students who try to steer a course (in the online setting)?

I am not a course instructor, but I am a teaching assistant for a large course in STEM in the large US school. I have been soliciting advice from students to improve the course and tutorial for the ...
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34 votes
9 answers
10k views

How can I motivate the teaching assistants to grade more strictly?

I am a lecturer in charge of a course with over 250 students and several TAs. The TAs are partly responsible for grading the homework assignments. Since these are assignments in programming, no two ...
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4 votes
1 answer
743 views

How to deal with student's feedback about tutor

I'm a professor's assistant and design the exercises for his class. Each week the students are assigned some homework, which will be corrected by a tutor. I got an email from a student, who "...
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3 votes
1 answer
97 views

How should a prof assign duty for a course with a discussion forum/board?

I am (with a few fellow TAs) helping a prof with an online course in STEM that has a discussion forum/board. However, it seems to me that this wasn't really thought through and now we have reached a ...
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  • 11.2k
2 votes
3 answers
260 views

Is it normal to have grad student instructors for upper division classes?

I'm almost done with my undergraduate degree (B.S. in a physical science) and, looking back, a good portion of my upper division major classes have been taught by grad students. Is this normal? I hope ...
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2 votes
0 answers
104 views

How common is it for universities to cover tuition and offer stipend for Master's students for RA/TA positions (USA)? [closed]

From my googling I found that only about 30% of the universities I looked at (in Computer Science) offer Research Assistant (RA)/Teaching Assistant (TA) positions to Master's students that cover ...
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  • 1,642
0 votes
1 answer
256 views

Should I let a bad mark from 10 years ago discourage me from taking on a TAship? [duplicate]

10 years ago it was my first year in University and I bombed a course in programming. I had no programming experience and was competing with people have been programming since 10. I felt stupid and my ...
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1 vote
1 answer
166 views

Is it okay to reproduce the work as a teaching assistant?

Next week, I need to give a lecture on a topic (say T). I surveyed over the internet and found excellent video lectures by a professor (Say P). I learned T thoroughly. I can able to answer any ...
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  • 7,449
15 votes
7 answers
9k views

What do professors do if they receive a complaint about incompetence of a teaching assistant?

If a professor is teaching a course with a significant number of students. My university randomly assigns teaching assistants (TAs) to courses. For example, I was given the assistantship of an ...
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  • 7,449
5 votes
4 answers
1k views

How can teaching assistants deal with grade disputes?

From the answers to this question, it is clear that TAs in the US are usually responsible for grading students' work. In my country, most of the TAs face the following challenges: Students confront ...
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  • 7,449
4 votes
3 answers
2k views

Do TAs in the US usually grade student responses?

In my country, many institutes have the custom of TAs evaluating and distributing the marks of students of that particular course the TA is handling. I am wondering whether it is a part of academic ...
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  • 7,449
15 votes
3 answers
3k views

How much course preparation, grading, and student question handling can be reasonably expected of a graduate TA? [closed]

I am creating all homeworks, quizzes (two per week), exams (2x75 questions), review questions (2x75), projects, 20-page lecture notes (two per week), and answering all student e-mails, along with ...
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  • 151
18 votes
3 answers
3k views

What is an "evidence based" teaching statement?

(I'm a PhD student in mathematics, for context.) What do people mean when they say that claims in a teaching statement should be "evidence based?" For background, I have been watching my ...
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7 votes
2 answers
1k views

TA salary between different university departments

Recently, I was talking to some fellow grad students and the issue of money came up. I was shocked to find out my two friends who are TA's in the philosophy and physics departments at the same ...
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  • 417
12 votes
2 answers
1k views

Advice for first time mathematics TA during the COVID-19 pandemic [closed]

I'm set to start my first year as a TA at a large R1 institution. My teaching assignment consists of being a TA for an honors calculus I section. This includes holding a weekly problem solving session ...
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  • 417
0 votes
1 answer
422 views

As a master's student, will a GRA or GTA position provide a greater benefit for PhD applications? [closed]

I am a Master's student with goals to pursue a PhD. I am currently a graduate research assistant (GRA), but have been offered a GTA (graduate teaching assistant) position in Machine Learning. The ...
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17 votes
3 answers
7k views

What to do about past errors or inconsistencies in assignments I graded?

I was a grader for my university couple of years ago. I'm also a PhD student. Out of the five semesters I graded..I got a "not fit for rehire" 3 times. I was not responsive, didn't cater to ...
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4 votes
4 answers
520 views

Why lab sessions are handled by TAs?

Consider a course (say machine learning). Professors attend to deal with a theoretical part and then does not involve in the coding part. The task of handling the coding part is left to the TAs of the ...
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  • 7,449
3 votes
2 answers
644 views

Best way to apply for position as a teaching assistant

Soon, I'll start my last year of undergraduate studies in physics. At my university it is possible (but not too common for undergraduates) to be employed as a teaching assistant for a first year's ...
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2 votes
0 answers
132 views

TAing for two young hotshot postdocs (possible "in" for future research)? or TAing a lab with more student engagement?

Incoming theoretical physics PhD student in the US. I hope to get into academia after my PhD. When listing TA preferences, would it behoove my career goal more to list as my top preference a course ...
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