Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

First time TA, suggestions!

  1. Aug 14, 2012 #1
    So this fall I will be TAing for the first time for, most likely, general chemistry but possibly physical chemistry.

    Frankly, I don't know what to expect at all.

    What does one do when students don't have questions? What does one do if students dont want to participate? If the professor gives me some freedom, should I bring problems, do HW problems or have them bring problems? etc.

    Anyone have general suggestions on being a good TA? For whatever reason, it's very important to do a good job TAing so I am willing to spend a good amount of time preparing.

    *I looked around and didn't see a thread on this. Sorry if it already exists.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 15, 2012 #2
    I was a first-time TA for Statics last semester, and that was probably the hardest part of my job: actively engaging students during class. The few tips I can give you are to always answer a question to the best of your ability, or tell the students you need to think about the question more, and then follow up with them somehow. Once my students got to know me a little better I would ask them a question that I knew we had covered earlier in the course (How do you set-up this free-body diagram) and then stare at them awkwardly. Eventually, someone got the picture and the answer was pretty much always correct. This semester I'm going to work on engaging the ones that aren't as confident.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook