Expectations for Teaching Assistants

Teaching assistants are useful partners for the faculty in laboratories.  As a TA, your role during lab is to answer student questions and check students’ answers in their lab manuals.

  • The faculty member in the lab is your supervisor; you should always check before the first lab of the semester to discuss specific lab responsibilities.
  • You should review the lab prior to the start of each lab class period.  TA copies of the lab manuals will be kept in the prep room between Palenske 121 and 123.
  • You should be prompt and ready to start when lab begins.
  • You may be needed outside of regular laboratory hours, for example to help students make up missed labs, review before exams and quizzes, and prepare samples for research projects.
  • You may need to help with lab set up and take down.
  • You should always behave in a professional manner.   It is likely that you will have friends taking the lab.  You should be careful not to spend more time helping them or chatting with them than you do the other students.  There generally are 2 TA’s in the intro labs; if a close friend or relative is in your lab, you should let the other TA answer their questions.  Sharing answers to graded exercises with students in the class will be grounds for dismissal.
  • If you are willing to drive on field trips, you need to become an approved driver.  Please go to http://www.albion.edu/campussafety/driver_information_form.asp to start this process.
  • If you are an approved driver, you can help pick up vans before field trips.  Vans are kept in the parking lot behind Kresge Gym, next to Facilities.  Your instructor will let you know where to park the van.
  • When the trip is over, vans should be returned to the Facilities parking lot.  The van interiors need to have all the litter picked up, and all the doors and windows closed and locked. Keys, credit cards, and filled-in trip reports may either be handed in at the loading dock or, if it is after hours, deposited in the return slot next to the door.
  • Working as a teaching assistant is a position of trust.  It is an excellent way to review the course material, and is good experience if you plan to apply for a teaching assistantship in graduate school or become a teacher yourself. 
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