The Teaching Assistant (TA) Role
As a Teaching Assistant (TA), you are responsible for providing supplemental support and instruction to students who are taking a large lecture course. Where the instructor is responsible for delivering new instructional material to all registered students (sometimes up to 1000 at a time!), TAs deliver more personalized instruction to small groups of students, around 25 at a time. TAs are the “front-line” of instruction and are usually able to form more individual connections with students than an instructor of a large lecture course. In contrast, Readers (which is another type of academic appointment for graduate students) are not responsible for running any class meetings. They primarily assist instructors with preparing and grading assignments.
You may be a TA for a Discussion Section or a Lab Section. Here are some examples of the kind of work you’ll be doing in class.