Friday, August 24, 2007

Teaching Reassignment

I thought I was TAing a 200-level vertebrate class, but at some point they reassigned me to Bio 100 and didn't tell me until the beginning of this week. At first I was disappointed but it sounds like Bio 100 will be a good first course to TA. I don't have to attend lectures, grade exams, or lead study sessions. I lead two sections of lab and discussion and grade their lab assignments. It's a big course with many sections so there is a lot of structure in place and I don't have to worry about figuring that out myself.

I was sort of excited about the idea of office hours. I liked the thought of students coming to my office to ask me questions. I never thought about exactly how many hours I'd have, but I thought we'd take the normal working hours of the week and divide them up among the TAs so that there would be someone available when students have questions. Therefore, I was quite surprised when we were informed we were required to have TWO office hours per week for our students. Other TA's students won't know our office hours. I wasn't expecting them to form a queue or anything but it seems this would be incredibly inconvenient for my 60+ students. Perhaps I'll have more office hours than the two required.

From the other TAs I've talked to it sounds like I shouldn't have to spend more than 20 hours per week on average. I'm excited about teaching, but I'm also relieved to hear that it's not going to take over my life this semester. I've got lot of grant proposals to write!

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