191

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 previously attended that institution. Essentially you are asking if there are any professional or ethical issues in dating another adult who has no connection ...


186

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.


185

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. Our experience is that computing attracts a higher proportion of students on the Autistic Spectrum than do other disciplines. We are operating with about (my ...


175

I got angry, but. . how should I handle similar situations? Got angry? No good! You're not necessarily paid to answer his question but you are paid to help advance knowledge and learning. Unfortunately, the tone of your answer doesn't let us know exactly how "silly" the question was (was it silly because it was personal question that had no bearing on ...


153

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 student as a TA, even if the grading and tutoring are for separate courses. That sets up a financial relationship between a grader and a student. That's a big ...


124

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, going straight over the professor's head will make you look bad. Here are some suggestions for making a well-received complaint: Make your complaint in writing (...


123

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 hints.) It sounds like you have made it too easy for them to use you as a crutch, rather than doing the work on their own and then coming to you with specific,...


122

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. What's a subject you had to take in school but didn't enjoy? Can you imagine not putting as much effort or showing as much respect to it as someone going to ...


120

I agree that in principle, the student is responsible for critically evaluating information from all sources and rejecting any that's incorrect. I wouldn't simply award the student points for the incorrect solution, but on the other hand it seems unhelpful to just mark it wrong and leave it there (and despite your explanation, the student will likely ...


115

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 disrupting the teaching environment, but other students. You have not provided examples of how the response of the other students is disrupting the teaching ...


108

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 being either a harasser or a perv) the important thing is to let know your employer that there is a problem. That may be very important for your defense if you are ...


102

Let the department head know what you've observed. You can write an anonymous letter if you feel uncomfortable or are worried about burning bridges. (I've been in this situation, as a student. We - the students in the class - wrote a collective letter to the department head. He was able to arrange extra TA support for the professor for the rest of that ...


102

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 teach at an all-undergrad department so I have to be my own TA.) These are great teachable moments if you have the time (and it can take a lot of time). You don't ...


97

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 cases like these) could cause problems. When discussing the issue with the professor, I would refrain from using the phrase "mental condition".


96

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 way to proceed. End of story.


96

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 else that might further provoke him. Instead, in as calm a voice as you can muster, inform the student that you understand his concern but that you don't have ...


93

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 correct and you explained why they were not correct. Since you've denied the student's appeal of the grade, the next appropriate step is generally for the ...


92

"you can't be serious, this is not a question!" Don't say this. Regardless of the question, this makes it sound like you think the student is either (1) intentionally wasting time or (2) very stupid. You can't make progress from there. Next, if it's a quick question that's related to the topic of the course, but not the lecture necessarily, then the best ...


88

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 justification. Presumably she's observed both cases of giving and not giving feedback for the final in the past (you have not). You do not have the power to compel ...


86

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 mistake that can be fixed easily (e.g. a missing minus sign) I would recommend bringing it up on the spot. The 'cost' to the teacher and impact on the lecture is ...


84

I would consider asking the student who is not getting along with their partner, whether they would consider leaving their current partner and work on their own from here on out. That way, the student still would have to do all the work on their own, but no longer has someone benefitting from their efforts without contributing. If the student seriously ...


78

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, immaturity can be amplified. The first thing to do, when faced with childish behavior, is increase the maturity of your own. Show them how childish they are by ...


77

As a teaching assistant, you should not be abused. If a student becomes angry and abusive, you need to disengage and pass the problem upwards. While TAs participate in the grading of a course, the responsibility and authority for dealing with any significant grading dispute with a student lies with the professor, not with any TA. It's OK for TAs to deal ...


76

You should keep your replies short, polite and professional. Do not respond to what you see as flirtatious. Try also to interpret what you see as flirtatious in a different light, as you say, it could be due to language issues. It would be bad if you started to respond in a manner that assumed something that was not intended. In the end it is very important ...


75

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 course on the first day prompts almost instantaneous pleading/negotiation/argumentation over any and all stated procedures (parameters for assignments, grading,...


74

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 have. When I bring their assignments home, I transport them in a plastic bag to further distinguish them and prevent papers from falling out somehow. For ...


74

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 you can realistically give "your(sic!) TAs" any of this. In absence of solid motivating factors, you are trying to engage the team in some form of internal ...


73

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 any rumors). There are massive issues here: Being paid extra compromises your ability to grade the student's work. It looks too much like a bribe, and the ...


72

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 the place for swimwear. This should have nothing to do with sexism, or with harassment (though I certainly understand why you're worried about that). It has ...


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