The Diversity of the TA Role

So, what's this lesson about?

The TA's role is a diverse one. TAs must:

a) Prepare extensively for the responsibilities outlined in their Duties Specification Letter

b) Reflect on how to best meet the needs of the course, their supervisor, and their students

c) Mobilize their TA appointment to meet their academic and career goals.

This module is designed as an introduction to prepare TAs for the challenges and opportunities inherent in their teaching assistant role at the University of Western Ontario.

First, prepare for your mission as a TA by watching this video.

Next, download two documents:

  1. "Beyond The First Day" provides you with a summary of the video and a TA checklist that you can use throughout the year.
  2. Want more clarification about the specific responsibilities outlined in your Duties Specifications Letter? "Beyond The Contract" equips you with detailed questions to ask to make sure that you're well prepared, and a weekly log you can use to track your TA hours.

Both the questions and the weekly log are adapted from UBC Okanagan's "A Guide to Effective Practices for Teaching Assistants", also available here.

Finally, download our GTA/RA Handbook (PDF) here, then watch these two videos.

N.B.: If you'd like an enhanced learning experience where you can interact directly with the video, create an account at and watch the videos here and here.

Otherwise, you can just watch them in youtube form below:

This video describes how to mobilize your TA appointment to serve your academic and career goals.

Interested in documenting your transferable skills? Download this list from Cornell University.

This video describes how to get the most out of your partnership with your faculty supervisor.