The main point of office hours is to assist students with learning the course material. This generally involves:
- Clarification of concepts presented in lecture.
- Guidance regarding the homework assigned for the course. (Don't solve the problems for them!)
- Review or summary relating to an imminent exam.
In addition to this, TAs often act as approachable advisors. Students may ask for academic, career, or even personal advice.
Some things to keep in mind:
- Remind students of office hours each week (at minimum by email).
- Make sure students are aware that they can set up alternate times to meet with you if office hours are inconvenient.
- Work the problem set in advance.
- Try to understand why the faculty member assigned each problem? What is the "take home" message from each question. Are the students understanding this point?
- Be prepared to answer general questions about the lecture. If you are not very familiar with the course material, consider attending lecture.