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.

The workshops are typically held in the evening after classes are through and last no more than two hours; the department usually provides food and drink. The exact number and content of these workshops varies from year to year, but in the past have 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.