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Questions to ask your professor
Set up a meeting before the term starts with the professor of the course you are assigned to. The point of the meeting is for you to understand the expectation of your professor. But, the meeting is also a good time to remind the professor of some things they may not have thought much about recently. Most of these pointers are taken from the Caltech Graduate Office's TA handbook.
- Who will be responsible for writing problem sets and exams? For grading them?
- Are the TA's expected to help prepare lecture or lecture notes? To make lecture notes available to the class?
- Are the TA's expected to attend lecture?
- Will the TA's be asked to deliver any lectures? If not, will they be free to teach a lecture if they wish to?
- Are the TA's expected to hold office hours? How often?
- In courses with multiple TA's, how will the TA duties be divided?
- Will there be any review sessions out-of-class? Who will prepare and present them?
- Who will review requests for extensions on problem sets and exams? Are the TA's allowed to grant extensions? Without notifying the professor?
- Will there be any regular TA-professor meetings? Suggest setting up at minimum midterm meeting to touch base on student issues, the pace of the course, etc.
- Will they be providing the class with a syllabus? Suggest that they should, and if needed provide them with a link to the syllabus page.
- If TAing for a graduate level class, remind the professor of the graduate-student-generated syllabi.