Skip to main content
214 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
  • 123k
197 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
  • 70.1k
164 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
  • 123k
126 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
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
112 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
  • 4,709
110 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
  • 3,965
108 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
  • 193k
105 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
  • 7,872
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
95 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
91 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
  • 5,390
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
  • 41.8k
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
  • 376k
77 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
76 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
  • 5,119
76 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
  • 133k
73 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
72 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
69 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
  • 123k
69 votes

Professor refuses letter of recommendation request

I am sorry for your situation, no one likes to feel under-appreciated. That being said, it is important to know which battles are worth picking. Your professor was very clear in his answer, and I can'...
Ivo Terek's user avatar
  • 722
68 votes

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

You have a bigger problem than encouraging stricter grading. You need to provide consistent grading. Otherwise your scheme is fundamentally unfair. For starters you don't have an option to fail to ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 376k
66 votes

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

Demanding a bereaved student get a doctor's note isn't an appropriate strategy. (A death certificate or notification would be more suitable, but still inappropriate, in many instances.) Can ...
user2768's user avatar
  • 40.9k
65 votes

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

I could not follow a proper rubric to the bone. That's not unusual. Following a rubric is indeed difficult, even for people who have had many years of experience in teaching. And the rubrics ...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
65 votes

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

It sounds like this incident has run its course and there's not a whole lot left to be done. This can be hard to accept: we as humans have a real need for closure, and we like everything to be ...
cag51's user avatar
  • 70.5k
64 votes

My student in one course asks for paid tutoring in another course. Appropriate?

You're correct in feeling uneasy. Even if you are not yourself improperly influenced, there would definitely be the appearance of possibility of improper influence, which is as important, in terms of ...
paul garrett's user avatar
  • 90.1k
63 votes

PhD: admitted with TA with 5h a week, is it standard?

"Contact hours" is standard jargon in academia for formal class time: hours when the instructor/TA and all the students are scheduled to be together. So this basically means you will teach 5 hours of ...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible