213 votes

Is it ethical to tell my teaching assistant that I like him?

Wait until after the course is over and grades are in: don't put your TA in a difficult situation. After that, you are just two adult humans, assuming you won't have any other courses with this TA.
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 99.2k
198 votes

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

I have responsibility for students with alternate needs within a Computer Science department and thus have professional experience of the situation you describe. It is not uncommon in our subject. ...
Brian Tompsett - 汤莱恩's user avatar
198 votes

What negative consequences could there be from dating a former student (as a young academic)?

There are professional/ethical rules at many universities relating to dating between students and staff, but these do not extend to imposing a permanent moratorium on dating between people who have ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 62.5k
154 votes

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

Whether their cheating should impact your role as a tutor is not the primary issue here, so I'll set it aside. You should not be tutoring a student for additional money when you are also grading that ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 99.2k
129 votes

How to deal with students staying hours past the end of office hours?

You don't need a "trick" to solve this problem. They're staying past the end of your scheduled office hours because you have been tolerant of this so far. (I suspect they completely missed your subtle ...
ff524's user avatar
  • 108k
125 votes

My math students consider me a harsh grader. Is my teaching attitude wrong?

Yes, you do seem to have a bad attitude toward it, but I suspect you knew that. I would suggest trying as hard as you can to put yourself in their shoes: Not everyone enjoys the same things you do. ...
Jeff's user avatar
  • 16.3k
122 votes

TA talks to others about students, what to do?

When you have a complaint about a teaching assistant for a course, you should generally address it to the instructor of record first. Even if you believe the professor will dismiss your complaint, ...
ff524's user avatar
  • 108k
118 votes

What to do with a student coming to class in revealing clothing, to the degree that it disrupts the teaching environment?

Unlike my answer here, your problem does not seem to be about the clothing, but rather the disruption. Assuming the student is not breaking the university dress code, then it is not her who is ...
StrongBad's user avatar
  • 104k
111 votes

What to do with a student coming to class in revealing clothing, to the degree that it disrupts the teaching environment?

The best thing you can do is the escalate the problem to your superiors, which you already did. Note that in disputes like this (when there is a bad and a worse choice, like you being accused of ...
xmp125a's user avatar
  • 3,885
110 votes

What to do with a student coming to class in revealing clothing, to the degree that it disrupts the teaching environment?

Ignore everyone here and ask your higher-ups what to do. Then do it. And get at least some of the responses in writing so that you can point back to them. I believe this is the only correct and safe ...
user541686's user avatar
  • 4,580
107 votes

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?

Since you are not working under her supervision right now, then assuming you are both adults, you are in the clear ethically, legally, and university policy-wise. The only real caveats are that if you ...
Dan Romik's user avatar
  • 183k
106 votes

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

As a fellow TA, I would definitely recommend that you discuss this issue with the professor in charge of the course as taking matters into your own hands without his knowledge (especially with special ...
Abbas Javan Jafari's user avatar
104 votes

Is it ethical to tell my teaching assistant that I like him?

I'd like to add that there is another reason for waiting until the class have been over for a while. There's a phenomenon of "love for authority." It happens a lot in academia, where the instructor ...
B. Goddard's user avatar
  • 7,834
103 votes

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

Answering from the point of view of a physical scientist, and in keeping with my personal take on what kinds of help are appropriate or inappropriate. (I haven't been a TA for a long time, but I ...
dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten's user avatar
97 votes

How to toughen up against hostile students as a TA?

Your responsibilities as a TA do not include being verbally abused or physically threatened by irate students. At the first indication of abusive behavior, immediately stop arguing or doing anything ...
Nicole Hamilton's user avatar
94 votes

How to handle a student who will not accept that he is wrong?

Should I just tell him to talk to the instructor, and that my job is just marking? Yes. There's no point in getting into an extended argument with this student. The student thought his answers were ...
Brian Borchers's user avatar
90 votes

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

No, you should not confront the lecturer again ("reopen") over this issue. That would not be an efficient use of your time. You've talked to the course instructor. She has explained to you her ...
Daniel R. Collins's user avatar
88 votes

Should a TA point out a professor's mistake while attending their lecture?

It depends on the type of mistake. All mistakes must get fixed to make sure the students don't learn anything wrong. However, how to best fix the mistake depends on the situation. If it is a small ...
user2705196's user avatar
  • 5,324
82 votes

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

Should we just let these things go? Yes. Either the situation is real, in which you would be causing great harm in refusing and distressing the student further OR the student is lying and they get an ...
Ian Sudbery's user avatar
  • 35.6k
79 votes

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

Sometimes students behave childishly. They've only been adults for a few years, and some of them are still transitioning. In groups in particular, and with the anonymizing effect of the internet, ...
Peter Bloem's user avatar
  • 6,338
78 votes

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

Unlike phone calls, texting is seen (by most people) as asynchronous, like email. You text when you can. The receiver responds when and if they can. I see nothing wrong with the the other person's ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 333k
77 votes

What's a good way to prevent students from saying I lost their paper?

First, get organized. You need a good defence. Make sure that you are not at fault. What I've done is to put student assignments in a folder and keep it entirely separate from any other papers I ...
jvriesem's user avatar
  • 5,089
76 votes

Should I tell students that it's my first time teaching the course?

Recommend not on the first day. I'm actually in exactly this situation for the fall term, so I was prepping myself mentally for just this issue. In my experience, expressing any uncertainty about the ...
Daniel R. Collins's user avatar
75 votes

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

Should I speak with the professor of the course myself about this? I'd recommend telling the student you can't do it, and mentioning to the professor that you were asked but turned it down (to avoid ...
Anonymous Mathematician's user avatar
75 votes

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

Never ignore emails without first saying you are terminating the conversation. It's rude, and it leads to all sorts of problems. Even something like "come to my tutorial lectures and ask me the ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 121k
74 votes

What is the best way to motivate teaching assistants?

I think the best way to motivate a person in academia is to give them a bit of job security, some funding which enables them to follow their interests, and a great team to work with. I am not sure if ...
Dmitry Savostyanov's user avatar
73 votes

What to do with a student coming to class in revealing clothing, to the degree that it disrupts the teaching environment?

I'm somewhat surprised this hasn't been stated yet. Wearing a bikini to class is inappropriate. Period. Just as wearing shorts, sandals and nothing else would be inappropriate. The classroom is not ...
Lightness Races in Orbit's user avatar
70 votes

Is it appropriate to give a gift to a teaching assistant for helping outside of work time?

I would consider that, in many cases, helping students "outside of work time" is often still under the normal job description of a teaching assistant. However, since you are asking the question, I am ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 99.2k
68 votes

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

Here are my suggestions: Make sure your lectures actually add something to their learning experience. Ask one of your coworkers or someone from the teaching support center (if you have one of those) ...
user141592's user avatar
  • 8,357

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