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The Faculty and Teaching Assistant Relationship
A solid foundation and clear communication are key to building a strong working relationship with your faculty. Establishing expectations can help clear any confusion about roles.
Before the semester:
- Meet with your faculty (e.g., phone call, video meeting) to discuss your TA position.
- Prepare any questions you have
- Establish how you will communicate with one another
- Discuss expectations for your TA position
- Discuss how you will check-in throughout the semester
- Get access to course material (e.g., added to the Canvas course as a Teaching Assistant)
- Contact other grad students that may have been a TA for the course in the past. They can share their experience to help you prepare for your role.
- If there are other TAs or Learning Assistants (LAs) or Supplemental Instructors (SIs) in the course, exchange contact information. They will be a great resource a support system for you!
- If you are teaching face to face, locate the classroom.
- Share your contact information (e.g., UC email) and when students can expect a reply in the syllabus and other course materials (e.g., Welcome page in the Canvas course).
- If you will be conducting online live sessions such as recitation or office hours, establish which tool you will be using with your faculty and share relevant information for joining the meetings in the syllabus and other course materials (e.g., Home page in the Canvas course).
Throughout the semester:
- Check-in with your faculty. Share any challenges and successes you’ve experienced.
- Refer questions you cannot answer to your faculty.
- If there are other TAs or Learning Assistants (LAs) or Supplemental Instructors (SIs) in the course, check-in with them. They are likely experiencing the same challenges and successes as you!