Getting Started   >   TA Training Program

Most new math graduate students here have no TA experience coming in. Doing it for the first time can be initially intimidating.

As such, all first-year TAs participate in a TA training program that consists of three parts: first, a series of workshops held throughout the year on various aspects to being a successful math TA; second, a section observation by the senior TA (see more about this observation); and third, observations of established TAs.

Beginning in the Fall quarter of 2018, TA training sessions are now a mandatory pass/fail course which all incoming mathematics graduate students must pass in order to continue serving as a TA. This course meets once weekly during during the Fall quarter. For more information, please consult the course website .

Prior to the Fall quarter of 2018, TA training sessions were typically held in the evening after classes were through and lasted no more than two hours. The exact number and content of these workshops varied from year to year, but usually looked something like this:

  • Meeting 1 (before start of fall quarter): Intro to TAing, how to prepare for the first section, what to expect and do on the first day, ideas for running section. Handout 1, Handout 2, Handout 3.

  • Meeting 2 (middle of fall quarter): Handling midterm exams, misc. issues. Handout 1.

  • Meeting 3 (end of fall quarter): Handling final exams, wrapping up the quarter, misc. issues. Handout 1.

  • Meeting 4 (early winter quarter): Presentation from Amanda Brovold from the Academic Integrity Office about how TAs can handle academic dishonesty cases. Discussion of grader issues. Handout 1, Handout 2.

  • Meeting 5 (later winter quarter): Reflections on observations of established TAs, discussion of TA-related scenarios that may come up. Handout 1.

  • Meeting 6 (early spring quarter): Intellectual need, understanding how and why students get confused, tips for engaging students in office hours. We did a mock office hours session on these problems and people took turns playing the role of a TA, or one of the five "types" of students listed on the handout. Slides.

These meetings are organized and run by the Head TA, , and , the TA training faculty advisor. Any comments or suggestions about the training workshops should be directed to one of them, and would (likely) be greatly appreciated.