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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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Does a Teaching Assistantship get counted as Teaching Experience when applying for teaching position in India?

In the Indian academic system, does one's teaching experience such as being a teaching assistant count towards one's application for an Assistant Professorship? My TAship involved everything from ...
21 votes
8 answers
11k views

How to move forward after microaggression allegations against my TA

Context: I am an associate professor of mathematics at a small liberal-arts college in the US. I am teaching multiple sections of a general-education mathematics course this fall, and I have an ...
5 votes
3 answers
4k views

Is there generally a relationship between a dept's research grant numbers and the teaching loads they give PhD students?

To me, one of the most important factors that differentiates a good PhD program in the US and a bad one is the teaching expectations placed on the student. In some departments, PhD students are ...
4 votes
3 answers
698 views

Does TAing the same course repeatedly help your academic career path?

I'm a PhD student specializing in computer vision, with a previous Master's degree. Until now, I have TAed the 5xx course "Introduction to Computer Vision" twice, and 4 other courses (...
-2 votes
2 answers
128 views

Feasibility and Legality of Simultaneously Being a TA and RA During a PhD Program in Different Countries

I am currently exploring the possibility of undertaking a PhD and have a query regarding the roles of Teaching Assistant (TA) and Research Assistant (RA). I am particularly interested in understanding ...
0 votes
1 answer
121 views

Ethical and Normative Aspects of Unpaid TA Positions with High Workload for Recommendation Letters

I'm facing a situation at my university that I'm not sure is standard or ethical, and I'd like some outside perspectives. In certain courses, we have about 60 teaching assistants (TAs), all of whom ...
7 votes
5 answers
4k views

How should I approach the issue of students not writing their name and student number on an exam?

I am a teaching assistant (TA) in a second-year undergraduate course and have just received the results of my students' multiple choice midterm exam, which were marked by an optical marking ("Scantron"...
2 votes
2 answers
331 views

Having a relationship with one my students as TA? [duplicate]

I'm a teaching assistant and the semester is almost over. I might be a TA next semester too. I like one of my students, but I think it's not professional to tell her. Is it wrong to ask her out, or ...
4 votes
4 answers
851 views

Is It appropriate for students to express interest in becoming a non-funded TA for a specific course?

I am an undergraduate student and along with some of my peers, we are interested in the possibility of becoming teaching assistants (TAs) for a particular course taught by a professor in the US whom I ...
1 vote
2 answers
2k views

What should I do if my professor is selectively favouring natives for TA positions?

I'm a third year graduate student pursuing a PhD in Europe. My field of work is computational chemistry (mostly involving developing software packages). In addition to that I have a masters in Physics....
36 votes
4 answers
13k views

Should I tutor a student who I know has cheated on their homework?

I am a Ph.D. student and I do private tutoring on the side for extra income. Recently a new student contacted me for help with a class, and I met them for one session, which went well overall. They ...
2 votes
1 answer
183 views

Feasibility of a Makeup Exam

I'm currently a TA for a first-year math course (at a US university), and one of my students wasn't feeling well on the day of the midterm exam for this course. They emailed the instructor their ...
13 votes
3 answers
6k 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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
283 views

Advice on class teaching as a beginner with public-speaking anxiety

I am a first year PhD student in Mathematics and I am teaching a first year undergraduate tutorial-style class. I have done lots of one-on-one tutoring before and quite enjoyed it, but I am struggling ...
5 votes
4 answers
412 views

Decreasing the workload of Teaching Assistants

I am a teaching assistant auditor at my university and my duty is to assess the working conditions of the TAs in my department (Physics & Astronomy). To do this, I send out surveys towards the end ...
5 votes
2 answers
7k views

Should a TA position which requires teaching a class offer more money than one that doesn't?

I am currently a PhD student (international) at a University in the US (TX). I was offered a TA position, however the position requires me to work as an instructor of the course. I worked before as ...
1 vote
2 answers
254 views

Are there Ph.D. or postdoctoral positions in Europe that primarily focus on research without significant teaching assistance?

I am currently considering Ph.D. or postdoctoral opportunities in Europe and have a strong preference for research-focused positions. I am interested in pursuing a program or position where the ...
10 votes
11 answers
6k views

Are TAs supposed to get paid for hours it takes to grade?

I help students in a lab for 10 hours a week then have to grade their labs every other week. Does anyone know what the norm is? Are they supposed to assign grading hours for you as well?
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

Writing personal information in a teaching statement

I'm writing a teaching statement for a cs/mathematics teaching position. I start the statement with a section "Personal Background" in which I simply say that both my parents and brothers ...
4 votes
0 answers
129 views

How to proceed with a problem with a professor and class structure as a whole

I am a teaching assistant for an introductory summer term class. I have not previously been a TA for this specific course, but have worked within this department and typically teach an accelerated ...
1 vote
1 answer
308 views

How to approach getting a TAship as a new grad student

I'll be starting my graduate(MS CS) program in the upcoming fall at a US university. I'm looking for GTA opportunities. However, the course-professor mapping is not publicly available and there is no ...
4 votes
1 answer
430 views

Does a teaching assistant position improve your PhD application?

I am currently working on a Master's degree in mathematics and was recently offered a teaching assistant position for a graduate-level course that covers material I am really comfortable with. My ...
34 votes
7 answers
7k 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 ...
10 votes
3 answers
5k views

Can a school make a grad student TA if the student was promised an RA by admissions?

A student applied to a 5-year PhD program after graduating from an undergraduate program. The student was accepted to the graduate program and was promised a research assistantship and tuition waiver ...
0 votes
2 answers
184 views

How to write a teaching assistantship statement for PhD application without teaching experience?

I am applying for PhD programs and some of them ask for a teaching statement for TA positions. However, as a graduate student, my only experience related to teaching is working as a grader of a ...
23 votes
7 answers
10k views

Is it appropriate to ignore emails from a student asking obvious questions?

A student often sends me emails asking obvious (homework) questions whose answers can easily be found in the teaching materials. I do not always keep the teaching materials with me, so I cannot reply ...
10 votes
6 answers
5k views

Is it ethical to become a volunteer teaching assistant?

There is a negative attitude towards volunteering in academia. I am about to graduate (currently an undergraduate student). There is a 6-month gap between my graduation date and the matriculation date ...
70 votes
14 answers
20k views

How to deal with students staying hours past the 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 ...
14 votes
8 answers
7k views

Unreasonable requests to a TA from a student

One of my students' behaviour just feels always disrespectful to me. A homework was due tonight, and she asked me yesterday evening how to solve multiple questions. I try to respond as soon as I can, ...
31 votes
6 answers
7k views

Handling unprepared students as a Teaching Assistant

I am a Grad student and this is my first time as a TA, in a first-year undergraduate course. My concern is students that come to office hours completely unprepared, asking things that have already ...
1 vote
2 answers
468 views

Are TAs expected to solve the homeworks or do they get the solutions from professor [duplicate]

Is the TA expected to solve the homework for the professor or is the professor supposed to provide the solutions to the TA for grading homework?
38 votes
6 answers
11k views

Being TA for abusive professor

Over the course of my PhD, I've had the pleasure of being a TA for many courses under many different profs, all were great experiences. I learned a lot, did a lot of good work with the other TAs and ...
23 votes
6 answers
5k views

As a TA, how much information should I share with the professor about students?

This is my first semester being a TA. When students email me and include personal reasons (e.g. sick family member or mental health struggles) when they ask for things like extensions or to switch ...
31 votes
5 answers
11k 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 ...
12 votes
3 answers
1k views

Should I accept an unpaid TA position?

I am a fourth-year undergraduate math major. I come from a not-so-big school, where the mathematics department is not funded that well. Recently, a professor asked if I would be interested in becoming ...
6 votes
3 answers
616 views

Should we tell students they need to improve their English?

As an instructor or teaching assistant for a graduate class at a top institution, is it okay to tell students (e.g. in homework feedback) that they need to improve their English? What's the best way ...
18 votes
5 answers
8k 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 ...
5 votes
2 answers
227 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 ...
29 votes
4 answers
9k views

Professor refuses letter of recommendation request

The application for TA fellowship, one normally takes recommedations from previous professors one has TAed under. What he replied when I messaged him asking for a letter of recommendation: If you ...
-2 votes
2 answers
640 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 ...
59 votes
5 answers
16k views

Lecturer in a course I'm TA'ing refuses to give feedback on student assignments

I am a teaching assistant in an undergraduate bioinformatics course. A few weeks ago the students in the course handed in the final assignment (which is worth 80% of the final grade), which we (me and ...
40 votes
9 answers
10k 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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
543 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
105 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 ...
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 ...
2 votes
3 answers
560 views

Contract signing session etiquette for student coaches

I am a first time faculty member straight out of grad school and I have been installed as a director for a "learning center". We hire undergraduate and graduate student "coaches" in the learning ...
31 votes
4 answers
10k views

How to deal with students asking very incremental questions?

I'm a TA/grader for an online course in introductory programming. We have students ask us questions related to homework/labs/etc. on Piazza where we can have quick back-and-forth with questions and ...
0 votes
1 answer
198 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, ...
24 votes
9 answers
8k views

Balancing empathy and deferring to the syllabus in teaching responsibilities

Questions of similar topics have been asked here for the situation of instructing a course and here and here for the situation of 'no late work' policies. Additional questions about balancing teaching ...
34 votes
2 answers
5k views

Is it appropriate for a TA to say "My Students"?

I am a teaching assistant for the first time this semester. A couple of friends have asked how it is going, and I have used phrases like "some of my students..." or "my students are ..." when telling ...

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