The TA position: teacher or grader?

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WhatCanYouDoFermi?
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The TA position: teacher or grader?

Postby WhatCanYouDoFermi? » Sat Feb 07, 2009 1:31 am

I was wondering what people from various schools know about what exactly the role of a TA is, and whether it is relatively consistent across the board. For example, at my undergraduate institution TAs in the physics department don't do anything interesting, just grading and running the freshman labs. However in the math department the TAs actually teach lecture material and discuss homework in what's called a recitation session.

Looking to next Fall, if I get in anywhere, I hope being a TA will involve more than just grading, even if it takes more time and preparation. I actually like tutoring and teaching a lot, and especially getting paid for it!

tshafer
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Re: The TA position: teacher or grader?

Postby tshafer » Sat Feb 07, 2009 1:56 am

From the acceptance letter (UNC):
As a Teaching Assistant (TA), you would be responsible for instructing undergraduate
laboratories or discussion sections in physics or astronomy. The time required for this work is
about 15-20 hours per week, including student contact time, preparation, and grading.


Tom

sirius
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Re: The TA position: teacher or grader?

Postby sirius » Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:08 am

the ohio state description says that you would teach recitation sessions or a lab. It says the total workload is 14-15 hours per week

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Helio
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Re: The TA position: teacher or grader?

Postby Helio » Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:20 am

Just to make this quick. It depends from school to school. Some schools have section/discussion/recitation/i don't care what you call it other don't. In case you go to a school that does you will have to teach a lab and the whatever + grade for that class. In order cases you just teach lab and grade. In some cases you just grade depending on what type of course (upperdivision. graduate). It will be somewhere around 15 to 20 hours a week depending on length of lab, no. of recitations, amount of grading, and of course required office hours

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grae313
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Re: The TA position: teacher or grader?

Postby grae313 » Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:15 am

Helio wrote:Just to make this quick. It depends from school to school. Some schools have section/discussion/recitation/i don't care what you call it other don't. In case you go to a school that does you will have to teach a lab and the whatever + grade for that class. In order cases you just teach lab and grade. In some cases you just grade depending on what type of course (upperdivision. graduate). It will be somewhere around 15 to 20 hours a week depending on length of lab, no. of recitations, amount of grading, and of course required office hours


Too add to this, it also depends on what class you TA for. Normally you'll be starting out with a large lower division class and you'll be responsible for a section or two. Some of the older grad students TA grad classes, and there are no sections for that so all they do is grade and hold office hours.




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