Being a TA means that you are both an expert on the topic and an important first point of contact for students in the course. If a student makes a request for help, or if you see that a student is struggling in the course, then address the issue by making yourself available to ask and answer questions; however, TAs are not intended to be an instructor, a tutor, or a counselor. If any issues encountered require more than the normal clarification or explanation then recommend that the student meet with the instructor. Also trust your instincts if you think the instructor should be informed about a given situation.
Role of a Teaching Assistant
|Basic Responsibilities of a TA||Typical activities of a TA|
How TAs Are Assigned to Courses
The Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) for the department and his or her assistant (DGSA) make the assignment of TAs to specific courses. Whenever possible, the DGS/DGSA will try to assign students to courses taught by their adviser. Students with a particular interest in a specific course should talk to their DGSA.
| Department DGSAs|
Office: 1393 CIEMAS
|Civil and Environmental Engineering
Ruby Nell Carpenter
Office: 121 Hudson Hall
Engaging the Undergraduate Academic Deans
A teaching assistant will often be the first person to notice when a student is getting overwhelmed by personal life, grade pressures, or such. Don't hesitate to reach out to the student and encourage them to talk to their academic dean. There are a range of support avenues for these students from simple supportive counseling and advice to peer advising and tutoring to guidance on how to manage time and study effectively. You may wish to contact a Pratt Academic Dean.You should also inform your course instructor/faculty member.