In any new situation, there are bound to be questions:
How do I … ?
When should I … ?
What do I do if … ?
What’s the best way to … ?
Who is in charge of … ?
Where can I … ?
Sometimes those who’ve come before pass on their tips and sometimes you find answers through trial and error. Sometimes you muddle through, doing the best you can, and sometimes you just know there’s got to be a better way. What to do when this happens?
There are a number of places to go and maybe you’ve found more. Add those in the comments. For now, try these:
Ask your supervisor. Part of being a teacher is training the next generation.
Ask your fellow teaching assistants. There’s a wealth of experience around you. Maybe there’s someone who’s been a TA in the course you’re in now, or maybe someone in your department, but helping in another course, has been where you are now. It’s only a matter of asking.
Ask teaching assistants in other departments. Some things that assistants do are discipline specific; physics labs are different from language labs, I get that. However, some things cross boundaries. Begging, borrowing, and building on the work of others is part of the process.
Head to the Centre for Teaching and Learning. The workshops, classes, and consultations are for you. Think of our CTL team like your own squad of teaching and learning superheroes. These individuals want to talk about making teaching and learning more effective across campus and their experience spans disciplines, styles, strengths, and interests.
Teaching assistants are an important part of the university’s teaching and learning team. Take advantage of the superhero expertise and work toward becoming a teaching and learning superhero yourself!
Image by Sharpie Sandbox, used with permission.