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Responsibilities of a TA. Spring 2008 Dr. Julia Hodges Professor and Department Head. Points of Contact. Dr. Julia Hodges, Department Head ( Dr. Edward Allen, Graduate Coordinator (

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Responsibilities of a TA

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responsibilities of a ta

Responsibilities of a TA

Spring 2008

Dr. Julia Hodges

Professor and Department Head

points of contact
Points of Contact
  • Dr. Julia Hodges, Department Head (
  • Dr. Edward Allen, Graduate Coordinator (
  • Dr. Andrew Watkins, Director of Undergraduate Studies (
  • Ms. Keri Chisolm, Systems Administrator (
  • Ms. Brenda Collins, Budget Manager (
    • Ms. Jo Coleson, Secretary (
    • Ms. Courtney Blaylock, Secretary (
    • Ms. Debbie Bagwell, Secretary (
ta responsibilities
TA Responsibilities
  • Expect a workload that averages 20 hours per week.
  • Meet all your assigned classes/labs.
  • Attend all meetings with your supervisor and follow all instructions you are given.
  • Establish reasonable office hours and be available during those times.
  • Respond to e-mail from students and supervisor within 24 hours.
ta responsibilities continued
TA Responsibilities (continued)
  • Handle all grading responsibilities in a timely and conscientious manner.
  • Do not make travel plans that involve being away during any non-holiday portion of the semester or term.
  • Do not make travel plans that require you to miss a required session of the TA Practicum.
  • Do not just sit during labs; walk around the room and offer help where needed.
ta responsibilities continued1
TA Responsibilities (continued)
  • Report machine problems (including printers) to immediately.
  • Do not allow people other than students in the class or other TAs in the labs.
  • Discourage excessive printing.
  • Make sure you understand assignments; run them in advance (faculty can make mistakes).
  • Take roll and report absences to your supervisor.
  • Before leaving campus at the end of the semester, make sure that your supervisor does not have any questions regarding grades, attendance, etc.
faculty supervisor
Faculty Supervisor
  • Meet with supervisor on regular basis to go over class plans, assignments, tests, etc.
  • Carefully follow all instructions provided by supervisor.
  • Have all assignments and tests graded and ready to return in timely manner (about a week).
  • Keep accurate record of grades.
  • Have midterm grades and final grades ready to submit on time.
  • Make supervisor aware of students in trouble with grades or excessive absences.
  • Report disciplinary problems to supervisor.
handling problems
Handling Problems
  • To whom do I report problems related to my teaching assistantship?
    • For most problems, the chain is:
      • Your faculty supervisor
      • Undergraduate coordinator (depending on the problem)
      • Department head
handling problems continued
Handling Problems (continued)
  • What if someone in my class/lab is cheating?
    • Be familiar with class, department, and university policies regarding academic honesty.
      • Department:
      • University:
    • Try to prevent cheating as much as possible.
    • Keep careful records if you become suspicious.
    • Present evidence to your supervisor.
handling problems continued1
Handling Problems (continued)
  • What if I encounter disciplinary problems in my class/lab?
    • Report such problems immediately to your supervisor.
    • Be aware of the university’s policies regarding student behavior.
handling problems continued2
Handling Problems (continued)
  • How can I learn about the university’s policies regarding student behavior?
    • Policies regarding student behavior are available on the web (see address later).
    • Take special note of the policies regarding disorderly conduct and sexual harassment.
handling problems continued3
Handling Problems (continued)
  • What is meant by disorderly conduct?
    • Disorderly conduct includes not only violent, noisy, or drunken behavior, but also the use of abusive or obscene language (especially ethnic or racial slurs) – see Code of Student Conduct at student policies web site.
handling problems continued4
Handling Problems (continued)
  • What is meant by harassment?
    • Uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical conduct directed at a person because of his or her race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or group affiliation that is either:
      • Quid Pro Quo harassment:
        • submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, academic advancement or receipt of a university service, and
        • a tangible employment, academic or provision of services action results from the person’s failure or refusal to submit to such conduct.
      • Hostile Environment harassment:
        • such conduct has effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance, thereby creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or learning environment, and
        • such conduct is so objectively and subjectively offensive as to alter the conditions of the person’s employment or academic advancement.
handling problems continued5
Handling Problems (continued)
  • What if a student complains about the way I graded an assignment or test?
    • Set up an appointment to discuss this with the student.
    • If you and the student are not in agreement following the discussion, inform the student of his/her right to appeal to your faculty supervisor.
interacting with students
Interacting with Students
  • Treat students with respect.
  • Treat students with fairness and impartiality.
  • Be patient and polite in helping students who are having difficulty.
  • Speak clearly (i.e., slowly and distinctly).
  • Do not discuss a student’s grades with anyone other than that student and your faculty supervisor (unless required to do so as part of official process).
  • Do not leave graded materials to be picked up by students in a public place. This includes the main office! Return materials in lab, in class, or in your office.
  • Do not have students turn in materials to be graded in a public place. This includes the main office! Take up assignments, take-home exams, etc., in lab, in class, or in your office.
  • Do not post grades in a public place. (Not even using aliases or ID numbers is permissible.)
  • Do not discuss disciplinary problems with anyone other than the student involved and your faculty supervisor (unless required to do so as part of official process).
reasons for termination of assistantship
Reasons for Termination of Assistantship
  • Sexual harassment
  • Violation of student’s privacy
  • Failure to follow supervisor’s instructions
  • Lack of preparation for classes/labs
  • Failure to meet classes/labs (including not meeting for appropriate length of time)
  • Unfair grading practice
  • Failure to grade and return materials in timely manner
reasons for termination of assistantship continued
Reasons for Termination of Assistantship (continued)
  • Failure to hold reasonable office hours
  • Rudeness in dealing with students
  • Poor communication skills
  • Failure to participate in TA Practicum as required
  • Taking advantage of your TA position for unauthorized use of departmental resources (e.g., printing or copying materials not related to your lab)
online sources of information
Online Sources of Information
  • University policies regarding student conduct
  • Graduate Assistant Handbook
  • MSU Add/Drop Policy