Being a TA at UCR

Being a TA at UCR

Being a TA at UCR Michalis Faloutsos 1 The Idea TAs are the face of the Dpt Critical for undergraduate education You need to take it seriously Teaching can be a lot of fun

2 How can you achieve this? You need the right attitude Pride, professionalism, care You need to Prepare Communicate Support each other 3

Having the right mentality Fact: TAs and Instructors are on the same team Assume the role with pride: You are the Dpt, you are the course, you are the lab Communicate and speak up Follow the decisions made by the team Express concerns and objections politely Be cooperative and proactive Be a team player

Help other TAs 4 Roadmap Being a good TA Doing good presentations/lectures 5 Being Professional Beware of your responsibilities in lab

In case of problems, take initiative to detect/solve them Discuss and determine all policies with your instructor ahead of time Grading policy Lab procedures, student responsibilities Academic dishonesty 6 Being Effective Be a good leader: firm and fair

Set rules to make life pleasant for everybody Be proactive: Thinking ahead can save way time at the end Manage time well In lecturing/lab, Between TA duties and your own work Establish relationship with students 7 Plagiarism is an offense Plagiarism means using another's work without giving

credit. Plagiarism includes the copying of language, structure, or ideas of another and attributing (explicitly or implicitly) the work to ones own efforts. Unpublished sources are, but are not limited to: class lectures and notes speeches handouts casual conversation other's students' papers material from a research service

8 Handling plagiarism You dont have to resolve it, just report it! Report to the instructor Instructor meets the student Usually they confess! Checks facts and claims, if disputed Sends to the appropriate office 9

Roadmap Being a good TA Doing good presentations/lectures 10 Doing good presentations Preparation Oral and Written communication Making things interesting Humor and jokes

11 Preparation Think about your audience, goal, context. Develop your plan (slides, notes, speech) Target to the needs of your audience. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse Make sure you know what you are talking about. Have a few skeleton points in front of you. Have fully worked out dificult parts

12 Oral communication Speak in a way that feels natural but Loud, and slow. Speak as in a one-on-one conversation. Make eye contact: not all but a few Mind your body language: Dont pace up and down nervously Dont fidget with your hands

13 Written communication Write legibly, dont rush Use large enough letters! Try to be concise and clear What you write should capture the lesson: Main important points In a stand alone fashion, is possible

14 Being interactive Students are often afraid to ask or answer questions Encourage them! Best trick: long pauses work well Try waiting for 3 seconds Use questions: Help you see if they follow.

Answer every question: Even if to only promise to follow up later. But, take irrelevant material offline 15 Making Things Interesting Try to use examples Motivate your lecture I.e. this is important to know, needed in next course

Break monotony: Take a vote on current events (who likes the Lakers? Who plays tennis? Who saw the new movie?) Tell them a what happened to you or a friend Ask them a puzzle (even irrelevant to class, solve next time) Get a student to do something on the board 16 Humor and jokes

Do what comes naturally Try things slowly as you build confidence. Must be appropriate: Forget about cultural/religious/political jokes Good rule: make fun of yourself or neutral things Prefer jokes with words: not slapstick Avoid extremes: too many jokes is not good Find a balance, like everything in life. 17

Some Safe Jokes Wow, this quiz was difficult, I am glad I am not taking this class Recovering from a bad joke: Anyway, I though it was funny. Good thing I am not a comedian Dont be discouraged They usually appreciate your efforts. 18

Least liked TA attributes Our TA speaks too softly (Number 1 problem) My TA is not fair Vague definition of fairness though My TA is not helpful, s/he does not know My TA is arrogant and condescending. Our TA is never in his/her scheduled office hours. My TA favors certain students. 19

Conclusion A TA represents the Dpt and UCR: Be professional Do your job well It can be very satisfying Try to make things interesting Dont overdo it 20

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