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Graduate Student Teachers

What is Expected of Graduate Student Teachers?

The job of a Teaching Assistant is both demanding and rewarding. For our purposes, 'TA' refers to graduate student teachers, tutorial leaders and lab assistants. As a TA you can expect to be a real asset to a department and to benefit greatly from the teaching experience. As a TA you are expected to be up-to-date and knowledgeable in your discipline, and an effective role model for undergraduate students. 

 Being a Graduate Student Teaching Assistant (TA)

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Being a New Graduate Student Instructor

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You are a Representative of the University

As a representative of the University, you are expected to maintain the standards of the University. This includes following all guidelines and rules established by the University. If you disagree with the policies of the University or the professor you assist, you are obliged to discuss these privately with the professor or an appropriate University administrator rather than doing so in front of students or simply refusing to follow the University guidelines.

You are a Representative of Your Department

As a TA you will work as a member of a department at the University of Saskatchewan and are obliged to follow the policies and regulations within the department and meet its standards and expectations. Make sure you understand all departmental requirements before the first class.

You serve as an Intermediary

As a TA you are expected to help reinforce to students the learning outcomes established by the professor you support, and you can also provide feedback to the professor about how students are responding to the learning experience.

Reading List for Graduate Student Teachers

Prieto, Loreto R.and Steven A. Meyers (Eds), The Teaching Assistant Training Handbook: How to Prepare TAs for Their Responsibilities. Stillwater, Okla: New Forums Press, 2001.

Curzan, A. and Damour, L.  2006. First day to final grade: A graduate student’s guide to teaching. 2nd edition. U.S.A.: The University of Michigan Press.

Lambert, L.M., Tice, S.L., and Featherstone, P.H. 1996. University teaching: A guide for graduate students. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.

Curzan, A. and Damour, L.  2006. First day to final grade: A graduate student’s guide to teaching. 2nd edition. U.S.A.: The University of Michigan Press.

Filene, P. The joy of teaching: A practical guide for new college instructors. Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press. Available at GMCTE library.

Gross Davis, B. 1993. Asking questions. In Tools for Teaching (pp.82-90). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Available at GMCTE library.

Hazel, E. 1995. Improving laboratory teaching. In Teaching Improvement Practices (pp.155-179). Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Company. Available at GMCTE library.

Lambert, L.M., Tice, S.L., and Featherstone, P.H. 1996. University teaching: A guide for graduate students. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.

Levin, J. (n.d.). Teaching Introductory Laboratory Courses:
Suggestions for Graduate Teaching Assistants Instructing
College-Level, Introductory, Laboratory Classes. Teaching Concerns, Teaching Resource Center, University of Virginia. Retrieved August 11, 2010 from http://trc.virginia.edu/Publications/Teaching_Concerns/Misc_Tips/Teachin....

Psillos, W. and Niedderer, H. 2003.  Teaching and learning in the science laboratory.  New York: Kluwer Academic Publishers.  Available as an e-book through the University library system.

Using classroom questions effectively.  (n.d.). BCIT Learning and Teaching Centre, Burnaby, B.C.  Retrieved August 11, 2010 from http://www.bcit.ca/files/idc/pdf/htquestioning.pdf.

Williams, K. 2001.  Teaching techniques in the science laboratory. In Core, York University’s Newsletter on University Teaching.  Centre for the Support of Teaching (CST), York University.  Retrieved August 11, 2010 from http://pi.library.yorku.ca/ojs/index.php/core/article/view/2701/1906.

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