Blegging for TA advice

I promise that tomorrow I’ll post something substantive (and not merely a question as my last three posts have now been), but todayI had something I was thinking about where I realized the StoneSoup audience could be helpful, so I figured I might as well bleg (blog plus beg, get it?) for your input.

This semester, I’m going to be a TA for Michael Sandel’s Justice class at Harvard (essentially an intro to moral philosophy class). It’s important to me that I do a good job teaching, but I realized that the last time I was in a discusin section was about four years ago, and I really don’t remember that well what made me think a TA was particularly good or particularly bad.

Thus, I decided it might be useful to get feecback from others (particularly people who are in college now or who recently graduated) about what they think makes a good or bad TA. Of the TAs you’ve had who’ve led particularly successful sections, what made them so useful for you? What made bad TAs bad? What advice do you have for me in general?

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One thought on “Blegging for TA advice

  1. To preface my comment, I will say that I have experienced only one semesters worth of TAs (at columbia) and generally dislike the very idea of a TA. With that said, one thing immediately came to mind: be clear as to what is your opinion on X and the professor’s opinion on X because many people will assume that what the TA says is binding on the professor.

    In my case, while taking justice and the law, I wrote a paper on a subject that the TA said was an interesting topic. The professor did not think it was a good topic. I was rather upset because I naively had assumed that the TA and the professor were on the same page when it came to something as crucial as paper topics. That sort of situation is unfortunate and should be avoided.

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