Please view “TA duties and expectations” first to understand their duties and what you can expect on them.
The following are some facts you should be aware of and tips for managing TAs based on the experiences of Instructional Support Group (ISG).
Facts to be aware of
- A single TA unit is an average five hours’ work per week for the term, giving a total of 80 hours
- TA duties are assigned to students as a means of providing monetary support; there is no “application” process
- Graduate students often take courses with their own assignments and projects
- Many grad students have families
- TA duties are not the students’ only commitment
- TA duties are not necessarily the highest priority
Tips for TA management
- Communicate all expectations clearly and regularly.
- Give lots of warning about marking meetings and deadlines, proctoring dates. Generally speaking meetings on weekends or statutory holidays should not be expected. If you have to do so you will need everyone’s consent in advance.
- Send email reminders about meetings, exam proctoring or marking.
- Set consistent and reasonable deadlines for returning marked papers.
- Provide, if possible, a schedule at the beginning of the term that shows how the 80 hours of work will be spread over the term, for example to fill in the TA Time Allocation Form.
- Keep notes of work done by the TAs so that you can contribute to the evaluations for the TAs at the end of the term.
- Encourage TAs to communicate any problems with the marking scheme to you as soon as possible so that any clarifications can be passed on to everyone.
- Solicit individual feedback from TAs especially those who don’t ask questions.
- Keep in mind that TAs are graduate students whose first priority is their graduate work.