Welcome to the Department of Statistical Sciences! We hope that your experiences here as a TA will be a positive learning experience for both you and your students. If there are any serious concerns with your job assignment (e.g. timetable conflict), email firstname.lastname@example.org immediately. Once you start work, any problems that arise should be immediately discussed with your course supervisor. As a TA you are a member of CUPE 3902 Unit 1. There is an elected CUPE union steward in the department available for consultation about any union-related matters.
TAs in the Department of Statistical Sciences do many things, including marking, teaching tutorials, holding office hours or Stats Aid Center hours, proctoring tests and exams and record-keeping. At the beginning of the term it is essential that you meet with your course supervisor to find out which of these duties you will be performing and when they will be due and to identify any possible conflicts. Although your work may be described as a certain number of hours per term, it is bound to be irregular. There may be times when you will have a major marking job to complete in a limited time, and other times when you have only a little work or even none at all.
TAs in the introductory courses typically have some regular weekly duties (preparation, tutorials, and office hours), but then have a lot of work to do in a relatively short time when there is a test or exam. You need to know (and are entitled to know) when the busy times will be, so that you can plan your own work to avoid crises. Your course supervisor needs to know if you are likely to have some crucially important obligation just when a test needs to be graded. It is unlikely that the test can be moved, but possibly the marking can be left till after your own obligation has been dealt with, and the students forewarned not to expect their tests back as soon as might otherwise be the case. If this kind of scheduling can’t be done, perhaps the problem can be solved by arranging an exchange of work with another TA who is working in the same course or is capable of working in it. The sooner that problems like this are identified, the more likely it is that they can be resolved satisfactorily.
You need to be well informed about a great many things—such as the scope of the course, the level of the course, and the role of the tutorials if you will be giving tutorials. It is also important to have a reasonably accurate estimate of how much preparation you will need to do. Communication with your course supervisor is very important throughout the year. Check your email and departmental mailbox regularly.
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