What to Ask the Instructor

When you get an assignment as a TA or reader, the first thing to do is get in touch with the instructor of the course. You will need to find out what the instructor expects you to do, make sure there aren't any insurmountable scheduling conflicts, and begin to prepare for your teaching assignment.

In advance — There are some things you can find out by yourself in advance:

Asking the instructor — The questions listed here apply to a broad range of courses and go into some detail. You shouldn't expect the instructor to provide absolute, definitive answers to all of these questions. It's impossible to predict every task that may need doing during the quarter, and it's important to be flexible as the needs of the class become clearer over time. Instructors may prefer to let you resolve some of these issues yourself, or in consultation with other TAs or readers for the course. Nonetheless, the sooner you get answers to any of these questions, the better you can plan and prepare and the better you can balance your teaching responsibilities with your other obligations.

More information — Consult these resources for further information: