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is TAing a tough job?


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i am awarded TAship to fund my phd studies although i know TA roles and responsibilities and actually quite excited to carry out these tasks but on the other hand i am dreading a little that what if i can't manage my duties along with my PhD studies and start doubting myself.. so i would welcome any thoughts on this matter especially those who had experience in TAship.  is it tough job or manageable?



Edited by demet
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1 hour ago, demet said:

is it tough job or manageable?

It will depend upon external and internal factors. External factors include the difficulty of the class, the expectations of the professor teaching the class, the amount of training you receive, the collective individual differences of the students you support, and the challenges you will face doing your own course work..

Internal factors will center around your skills as an educator and your motivation. Also crucial will be the way you navigate your understanding of how graduate students are leveraged to do the work that professors arguably should do. On this topic, TakerUK often presented an articulate POV. 

The thread linked below has recommendations, tips, and warnings that may be helpful to you.

ETA: In my experience, during intervals where graded assignments were coming due or needed to be evaluated, my work as a T.A. would range from six to twenty hours a day for a week or two. This investment of time was high because I often worked for a professor who held himself to high standards, including holding the line on grades and expected that his teaching assistants do the same--at least with the grades. 

Edited by Sigaba
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  • 9 months later...

During my time as a TA as a master's student, I was very nervous. The MA program I attended normally didn't fund MA students, however as a result of increased enrollment, I was lucky to receive funding. This also gave me a unique perspective as my first quarter of graduate school also entailed teaching on top of trying to adjust to graduate level coursework. 

I found it fun though - the students (at least the one's I worked with) want to learn from you, and those that don't still are interested in what you have to say. Being a TA is a profound opportunity to help students find the excitement that your particular discipline can offer. For me, it was history. One of my goals was to get the students excited about history, so that our weekly discussion sections were fun. I remember having one class that was absolutely wonderful: we discussed if a spongebob meme would be a primary source. There was fierce debate and it was just so much fun, the kids were engaged and really offering these fantastic arguments. 

I hope your experience is the same. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 4/13/2020 at 9:18 PM, dr. telkanuru said:

It's as hard a job as you make it. Just remember that academia will not reward you for being an excellent TA in any substantial way over being simply a good TA. 

This is a really good point. Being a TA can be really time consuming if you let it and make it difficult to focus on everything else, not to mention that there's not real reward for being excellent at it. 

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