4.4. Suggestions From Other TAs

Most of these tips are based on suggestions from previous or current TAs:

  1. Meet with the instructor at least a week before the beginning of classes. This gives you a chance to learn what your responsibilities will be, and gives you time to do any preliminary work you need to do before the start of class.
  2. Be professional. Don't be late for office hours or meetings; answer e-mail and phone messages in a timely manner; etc.
  3. Talk with other TAs. Other TAs often can provide suggestions on what works best in a course, or answer general questions about TAing.
  4. Provide ample feedback to students in a timely manner. One complaint sometimes heard from students is they get too little feedback on assignments and exams.
  5. Know what resources are available so that you avoid spending time on nonproductive items. Examples of resources:
    • Class lists (including pictures of the students in the class) are available through the teaching section of your myU page.
    • Class web pages: Information about class web pages is on the CSE Labs Course Resources page. In particular, if you have to develop a class web page, you might be able to copy and modify an existing one, rather than develop a new one from scratch.
    • Previous TAs: we try to pair new TAs with TAs who have TAed the course before; however, this is not always possible. If you need advice from a TA who has taught the course previously, and do not know who the TA(s) are, contact Liz Freppert ( ) and she will be able to give you the names of any TAs who might be able to help.
    • Training Sessions: the Center for Educational Innovation holds a number of training sessions in Fall for new and continuing TAs. The Center also holds seminars on a variety of topics throughout the year. Moreover, Center staff are available for individual consultations on specific issues you might be facing.