What does a Graduate Teaching Assistant do?

Assist faculty or other instructional staff in postsecondary institutions by performing teaching or teaching-related duties, such as teaching lower level courses, developing teaching materials, preparing and giving examinations, and grading examinations or papers. Graduate teaching assistants must be enrolled in a graduate school program. Graduate assistants who primarily perform non-teaching duties, such as research, should be reported in the occupational category related to the work performed.

Jobs Roles

  • Lead discussion sections, tutorials, or laboratory sections.
  • Evaluate and grade examinations, assignments, or papers and record grades.
  • Return assignments to students in accordance with established deadlines.
  • Schedule and maintain regular office hours to meet with students.
  • Inform students of the procedures for completing and submitting class work, such as lab reports.
  • Prepare or proctor examinations.
  • Notify instructors of errors or problems with assignments.
  • Meet with supervisors to discuss students' grades or to complete required grade-related paperwork.
  • Copy and distribute classroom materials.
  • Demonstrate use of laboratory equipment and enforce laboratory rules.
  • Teach undergraduate level courses.
  • Complete laboratory projects prior to assigning them to students so that any needed modifications can be made.
  • Develop teaching materials, such as syllabi, visual aids, answer keys, supplementary notes, or course Web sites.
  • Provide assistance to faculty members or staff with laboratory or field research.
  • Arrange for supervisors to conduct teaching observations; meet with supervisors to receive feedback about teaching performance.
  • Attend lectures given by the instructor whom they are assisting.
  • Order or obtain materials needed for classes.
  • Provide instructors with assistance in the use of audiovisual equipment.
  • Assist faculty members or staff with student conferences.
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