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IceCream & MatSci

TA or not???

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Hi all! Do you suggesting trying out TAing even if it is not required? As of right now, I don't want to be a teacher in the future, but I am still curious about it. What do you all suggest?

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I think if you're curious about it and think you can handle the additional workload, why not. If you don't like it and it isn't required, you probably won't have to commit to it after that semester. 

Teaching is great experience even if you don't have any intention of becoming a professor. It helps you with your public speaking, you learn a lot (research shows that teaching information to others improves your own learning), and it looks good on your CV. You are leading a group of college students, so it helps your supervisory skills a little bit too. 

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If you have not already, it might help to ask students in your department who are TAing what it is like and how they're balancing the workload.  TAing means different things to different professors.  Sometimes it might mean you hold study groups and guest lecture regularly and other times it might mean you make copies and maybe do a little grading.  You also want to find out what sort of training/support is available if you need help or a student comes to you with a crisis.

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21 hours ago, Moods said:

 What do you all suggest?

Get a sense of the preferences of the Powers That Be in your department. Especially the DGS, your advisor, and committee members. If they so much as hint that your focus should be on your work, focus on your work. For better and worse (mostly worse) many professors DGAF about undergraduates and have second thoughts about those who do.

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On 12/6/2018 at 11:47 PM, Hk328 said:

Teaching is great experience even if you don't have any intention of becoming a professor. It helps you with your public speaking, you learn a lot (research shows that teaching information to others improves your own learning), and it looks good on your CV. You are leading a group of college students, so it helps your supervisory skills a little bit too.

Thanks! These are good points. Even if don't end up liking TAing, I figured it would be good to at least have that experience because it will teach me something no matter what.

 

On 12/7/2018 at 8:20 AM, MarineBluePsy said:

If you have not already, it might help to ask students in your department who are TAing what it is like and how they're balancing the workload.  TAing means different things to different professors.  Sometimes it might mean you hold study groups and guest lecture regularly and other times it might mean you make copies and maybe do a little grading.  You also want to find out what sort of training/support is available if you need help or a student comes to you with a crisis.

That's a good suggestion, thank you! I am have not yet been admitted into a program, but I think I will ask grad students once I hopefully start visiting schools their thoughts on it. You also made a really good point about training on how to support students. That is really important to know. I honestly think more professors should get trained on this.

 

17 hours ago, Sigaba said:

Get a sense of the preferences of the Powers That Be in your department. Especially the DGS, your advisor, and committee members. If they so much as hint that your focus should be on your work, focus on your work. For better and worse (mostly worse) many professors DGAF about undergraduates and have second thoughts about those who do.

Haha, "Power That Be". But yeah, this is very true. Expectations from the higher-ups in grad school seem like no joke and should be discussed/established early on, which I hope happens when (if) I get admitted into a program. Thanks for your advice!

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The workload can be tough to deal with for the first semester, which depends on the classes you want to take.

However I will say that I love being a GTA, and it's given me great experience. Plus having tuition deferment and a stipend has taken off a lot of pressure for me to focus on academia.

Edited by surprise_quiche

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