Saturday, August 05, 2006

something new

I have been granted a grad student teaching assistant for one of my courses. For a second, I thought I was being assigned as a TA to a course (shows what mode I'm in!). What do I do with him? I don't feel ready for this commitment. He's not teaching a section or anything, so I guess he's there to help with the grading?? And maybe copying course packet material? This development has got me thinking more about this course (which isn't on until spring semester, so I haven't given it any thought) - just how big is this shindig that it would require a TA? Does this mean that it's supposed to be more of a lecture course?

This is a first....


At 9:05 AM, Anonymous aboutblank said...

Have him do your laundry......


At 1:14 PM, Blogger Pilgrim/Heretic said...

Ooo, I have SUCH a hard time with this. Partly because I have a really hard time delegating (and I never really trust other people to grade my assignments well), and partly because the grad students in our department are never well trained in my field, so they're not prepared enough to grade well or to help me with research. I rack my brains every semester to figure out how to put them to good use.

At 10:45 AM, Blogger Bardiac said...

I guess one way to look at it would be as a mentoring situation?

Have him work out a section of the course, find extra readings, prep a lecture or two?

If you don't trust him to grade, maybe he could do some comments and a suggested grade (on a sticky pad so that only your grade gets to the student?). That might be especially effective with journal type work where getting some feedback helps the students, but you don't have time to comment much? And you can also teach him/her some commenting strategies?

At 11:35 AM, Blogger medieval woman said...


This is a great idea - I like the whole "comments and suggested grade" thing. And also giving him the option of giving a lecture - that was always helpful when I was a TA. When I TA'd, though, we always had to teach weekly (either Thurs or Fri) sections, so our responsibilities were a little more codified. Thanks for the suggestions!

Pilgrim - I'm glad I'm not the only one who was at a loss on how to occupy a TA!

aboutblank - welcome! The laundry thing sounds tempting - my dad suggested I also have him wash the car... :)


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