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
I never thought that I would write those words, but I really wish I have more time to write my thesis. Aka, do what I am supposed to do as a grad student. At the end of the summer, as I explained here, I was ready to start. Every morning in September, I was behind… Read More I wish I have time to write my thesis
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
Being a teacher’s assistant (TA) can be hard work. As a TA you’re a font of knowledge, the solution to their problems and the keeper of their GPA. You’re also figuring out things as you go, putting out fires as they happen (hopefully figuratively!) and generally trying to keep up the aura of authority. So… Read More What can the Undergrads teach you?
For the second time in my life, I was a TA. For 10 weeks, I had to read the assign articles and books of a class and prepare questions in order for students to discuss in the conferences. Last year I wanted to die because I didn’t even know what conferences were supposed to be… Read More Goodbye, students from my conferences!
This week they start again: “conferences”, which, in the Arts Faculty lingo, refer to smaller classes that give undergraduates the opportunity to discuss course readings and assignments. These conferences are led by teaching assistants, usually graduate students from the relevant faculty, who guide discussions and answer questions. Conferences can be pretty demanding, and how TAs… Read More Styles of teaching: a typology of teaching assistants based on the TV series “Scrubs”
Some weeks ago, Guillaume wrote a nice post about the challenges and puzzles that grading can bring up. Amongst his many good points, he noted that a grade is a fairly reductive, one-dimensional assessment of the many dimensions along which the quality of an assignment can vary. I absolutely agree, and it’s made me re-think… Read More How this Grad Life Blog is useful for Grad Life (but doesn’t solve all problems)
I’ve written about teaching already this year, and I find myself writing about it again now, in the hopes of getting some opinions from other grad students. I’ve been the teaching assistant for a lab the past few years. When the powers that be restructured the lab in a major way last year, I made… Read More Does teaching matter?
Being a TA forms an integrated part of my life as a grad student and has been one among my best and most cherished memories at Macdonald Campus. Though some considered doing the same course repeatedly over semesters boring, every semester felt like a completely new and enriching experience for me for a number of… Read More Gradlife: Being a Teaching Assistant (TA) at McGill
At the end of my third year as a doctoral student my funding ran out. I have lived in a beautiful apartment in Villeray for 40 continuous months. I didn’t want to lose my spacious digs. Hardwood floors, an extra bedroom that I use as a ‘home office,’ newly renovated everything (including Ikea kitchen): this… Read More Grad Students of McGill, You Have Nothing To Lose But Your Chains