Mentoring TAs

What to consider

  • Your TA (or TM) is part of your teaching team. Think about including them as a partner when you develop and test out your assignments and assessments.
  • Collect ongoing feedback from your TAs about how the course is going for students, especially in the remote environment. Consider setting a regular meeting to connect and be proactive in communicating before big assignments or tests.
  • Keep in mind the limited time your TAs have to devote to the course and that everything (marking, responding to discussion boards, setting up and facilitating Zoom meetings, etc.) takes more time in the remote environment.  Check in regularly about how many hours they are spending and make adjustments together if needed.

What are the options

  • Clarify expectations for the TA role clearly. Discuss what your role and your TAs’ role will be in the remote teaching environment. How involved would you like them to be in facilitating synchronous learning? Could they help with break-out groups or monitor the chat during lectures? How involved would you like them to be in facilitating asynchronous learning?
  • Consider together how your TAs will run office hours. Synchronously in Canvas or Zoom? By appointment only?
  • Concerns around academic integrity are heightened in this environment. Make sure to discuss your department policies with your TAs along with your policies regarding late assignments, sick notes and student requests for accommodation.
  • Online communication requires special attention to a few simple rules of etiquette, otherwise known as “netiquette” (etiquette for the internet). Having a shared policy around this for lectures, labs and tutorials will keep confusion to a minimum.

Additional resources