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Adelaide9216

Question about assigning TAships

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Hello,

so I have applied to four courses to be a TA (I wanted to get only one for next term) but I got the answer from my department that I did not get selected for three courses. So I still have one application pending in another department that I am also enrolled in (as a graduate option to my main degree).

Are Teaching Assistantships usually reserved/prioritized for PhD students? I am disappointed that I did not get a TAship but at the same time, I am going to be working as a RA + gonna be a fellow at a research institute so it's fine. Probably is a good outcome anyways due to how busy I'll be next term. 

Edited by Adelaide9216

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This varies greatly from institution to institution, but for many programs yes, since PhD students receive their stipends from teaching.

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1 hour ago, telkanuru said:

This varies greatly from institution to institution, but for many programs yes, since PhD students receive their stipends from teaching.

Oh, yeah, that makes sense then. So I probably wasn't high on their list. 

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On 7/1/2018 at 5:02 PM, Adelaide9216 said:

Oh, yeah, that makes sense then. So I probably wasn't high on their list. 

I know at a few institutions that I applied to for their PhD program. Many of them would not offer a teaching appointment unless you already had a master's degree (or the equivalent in time spent in the program), even if the master's was not an admission requirement. Usually in those cases it is university policy that the instructor needs to have at least a master's to teach undergraduate courses and be an ABD to teach graduate courses.

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On 7/1/2018 at 3:02 PM, Adelaide9216 said:

Oh, yeah, that makes sense then. So I probably wasn't high on their list. 

You may not have received any consideration given that you have a RA-ship and a fellowship pending.

Going forward, you may benefit from asking around before throwing your hat in the ring. By asking around, I don't mean that you should ask for permission, I mean that you should find as much information as possible so you can make an informed decision. The time you spend applying for something you're likely not to get is time you can spend doing something else.

 

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10 hours ago, Sigaba said:

You may not have received any consideration given that you have a RA-ship and a fellowship pending.

Going forward, you may benefit from asking around before throwing your hat in the ring. By asking around, I don't mean that you should ask for permission, I mean that you should find as much information as possible so you can make an informed decision. The time you spend applying for something you're likely not to get is time you can spend doing something else.

 

I did ask information around before applying. But it wasn't a lengthy application though, so I did not waste that much time. But yeah, you may be right, I have a RAship and a fellowship so that might be also some of the reasons why I did not get selected for this. 

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I got offered a TAship for next term because a spot has opened and I was next on the priority list. But I don't know if I can accept it for now because I may also have a RAship. Ideally, I would like to do both but I don't know if it's realistic with everything I'll have on my plate. I'll try to push some commitments to next semester so I make room for that TAship. 

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Hello,

so I just took a look at the list of registered students for the course I am a TA for. Turns out, one of "my" students is a previous fellow classmate that I took a sociology course with two years ago. She is also in my Facebook friends. I don't think there will be an issue with this and I don't post anything on FB that I am not comfortable sharing publicly anyways, but do you think I should worry or be concerned about this? How do you navigate situations like this? (I took the course I am TAing two years ago).

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23 hours ago, telkanuru said:

Tell the professor and ask them what they want you to do.

A variation of the above.

Have in mind what you'd like to do and what you don't want to do, so that when you tell your professor, you can propose a solution as a diplomatically phrased recommendation with an appropriate amount of deference and respect. Using your situation as an example,  you could point out that as the two of you have a social relationship, and as you want to avoid the appearance of impropriety, would it be prudent for the student to be assigned to a different section? 

If the professor agrees with your recommendation, make a note of it after the meeting. If the professor disagrees with your recommendation, make a not of it after the meeting.

In both cases, store a digital copy of the note in more than one location. Why? Because batshit crazy happens, and when it does, documentation is a good thing to have handy.

(Or so I've heard.)

Meanwhile, consider the advantages of dialing down your digital footprint to zero for as long as you're working as a teaching assistant plus the number of years that a grade can be changed or challenged. Why? Because batshit crazy happens and entitled grade conscious students can go full guano smoothie with the best of them. 

(Or so I've heard. #notbitter though.)

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I speak publicly on a lot of issues since a couple of years (including my mental health as I am an advocate in my country for this cause). So if students google me, they will find a lot a of stuff about me. But it's all positive stuff, I don't think anything can be turned against me but maybe I am being naive. Either way, I absolutely am comfortable with my digital footprint and this is something that I spent years thinking about before going ahead down that path. However, I have emailed my instructor to see what she will say to me but I don't think it'll be a major issue.

 

Thanks people for your input!

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1 hour ago, Adelaide9216 said:

 I don't think anything can be turned against me but maybe I am being naive. Either way, I absolutely am comfortable with my digital footprint and this is something that I spent years thinking about before going ahead down that path. 

If a grade you give on a midterm leads to a semester grade that a student thinks will keep him out of Happyland University and said student has a "helicopter parent," your posts may be used as proof of "bias". If your boss and your department 100% have your back ahead of their own interests, you're good to go. Otherwise...

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2 hours ago, Sigaba said:

If a grade you give on a midterm leads to a semester grade that a student thinks will keep him out of Happyland University and said student has a "helicopter parent," your posts may be used as proof of "bias". If your boss and your department 100% have your back ahead of their own interests, you're good to go. Otherwise...

I'm not sure I understand your point, tbh. Could you clarify what you mean? I've always been supported by my department for the work I do outside of the classroom as it is seen to align with the values of my profession. Even my professional order in my province has my back on the work that I do.

Edited by Adelaide9216

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I have a strict no student rule on Facebook.  I gently explain that I don't ever want them to wonder if their grade came from our friendship, and that they should be able to call in hungover to class without me knowing about it.  Tell her that you can re-friend her after the term is over.

People understand.  They want their privacy too.

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Turns out I have 3 students in my Facebook friends (another one is also someone I took a class with as a undergraduate). One of them told me "Yay, you're going to be TAing my class!". She seemed happy. But yeah, I need to discuss that with the instructor :(

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