Graduate TAs contribute significantly to and advance the teaching mission of our institution. They support faculty in their instructional roles in multiple ways: they may conduct discussion sections, recitation sections, laboratory sections or studios linked to a main course, they may hold office hours, lead review sessions, provide feedback on and grade student work, author exam questions, develop course materials, and assist faculty in the course of record. Further along these TAs may design and teach their own courses as Graduate Part-time Instructors (GPTIs) where they may have their own TAs. Faculty supervisors (Instructors of Record) play a central role in preparing TAs for teaching in the discipline and serve as mentors in a graduate student’s teaching career. TAs’ knowledge of discipline-specific pedagogies that are tailored to address students’ learning needs provides the foundation for effective teaching. Faculty hiring committees expect candidates to demonstrate their teaching effectiveness in the discipline, discuss their professional growth, and provide evidence of the impact of their teaching. Thus, hiring committees both value and expect that graduate students will have received preparation, support, and feedback on instruction as part of their graduate training.
The Center for Teaching & Learning has developed a Teaching Assistant/Instructor Letter of Agreement which aligns with the Graduate School’s Advising Agreement and is based on the work of several departments who paved the way with their own agreements. We thank them all for their efforts and are pleased to offer this template for educators to utilize with their own teaching assistants and faculty. Feel free to download and edit this document as you see fit.
For further questions, please contact the Center for Teaching & Learning: firstname.lastname@example.org.