Last year I was quite excited, but also quite scared, by the fact that two different seminars I was taking were requiring me to do a teaching demo, or to present my homework in the form of a lesson to my peers, rather than as a more traditional presentation. Those were my first experiences as… Read More Time to learn… to teach!
The TA is a mysterious creature. Multiple types of TA exist, TA in the lab, TA in the class, TA in the conferences. Here, I will talk about the TA in the conferences*. The TA in the conferences is actually a grad student who transforms as a TA for normally 80-150 hours / term. He… Read More The mysterious life of a TA
It was my first day of grade six; my final year in elementary school. I was assigned to Miss Betty, who had a reputation for being the meanest teacher. I remember her having us do an assignment right after she took attendance. On the blackboard she wrote, “What is the difference between mean versus strict?”… Read More Strict versus mean
Last year, I was a TA for the second time, and in a new course. I had to read a whole bunch of new articles for the conferences (discussions in little groups) and I attended almost all the lectures since I didn’t know the material. I learned a lot, I worked a lot. This year, YES!,… Read More New year, same TAship
In the lab, nature can throw surprises at you and sometimes you can surprise yourself too. When a student comes to me with a sullen face and tells me they messed up or their results don’t make any sense; the first thing I tell them is that “mistakes happen” (as long as they didn’t burn… Read More Mistakes are OK
I actually said that out loud, in the hallway outside my office once. It was during my first year as a TA and I was excited to grade my very first batch of reports. My neighbour next door, a former TA for the same course I was currently TA’ing at that time, yelled something along… Read More I can’t wait to grade reports!
In high school, I was a pretty good student. I participated in extracurricular activities, and volunteered, while keeping my grades up, and doing my homework on time, or well in advance. When my classmates would ask me if they could copy my answers off of assignments, naturally I would refuse. I put time and effort… Read More I don’t give answers away for free
“This will be the last year I TA” I’ve been saying this for the last two or three years. Yet every year I fill in the application to be a teaching assistant (TA) for the departmental undergrad laboratory course and submit it right on the deadline. And then I’m back. Why does that happen? Once… Read More This will be the last year I TA