Allocation of TA hours


in Daily updates, Economics, Teaching, Toronto

For the introductory international relations course where I am serving as a teaching assistant (TA), I have been assigned two weekly tutorials with 25 students each.

  • There are six lectures which I am required to attend, over the year (6 x 2 hours = 12 hours).
  • Then there are two hours of tutorial per week for 20 weeks (40 hours).
  • Then, I am to be available for one office hour per week for 24 weeks (24 hours).
  • I have one hour per week to do the course readings (24 hours).
  • I am to grade 100 papers at a rate of 1/2 hour per paper, plus 100 exams at 20 minutes per exam (83 hours).
  • Finally, there are 27 hours assigned for additional lectures, preparation, and reading.

In total, I am to do 210 hours of TA work in order to qualify for the University of Toronto’s guaranteed PhD student funding package.

If I succeed in getting an Ontario Graduate Scholarship or Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council scholarship, I may not need to work as a TA next year.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan September 18, 2012 at 5:22 pm

alena September 18, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Grading is a teacher’s heavy burden. Hopefully, the work of the students will be inspired.

oleh September 18, 2012 at 9:30 pm

It seeems that you will be wearing a number of different hats. Sounds interesting and varied.

Milan September 18, 2012 at 9:44 pm

These days, I am spending more time on Toronto than on any other single thing, but we do have our film showing on Thursday.

Milan September 18, 2012 at 9:49 pm

The assignment for my course tomorrow morning:

“Read and be prepared to comment on two of the listed books:

James Mallory, Social Credit and the Federal Power (Toronto: UTP, 1954).

C. B Macpherson, Democracy in Alberta (Toronto: UTP, 1953).

John Porter, The Vertical Mosaic (Toronto: UTP, 1965).

S. M. Lipset, Agrarian Socialism Revised ed. (Berkeley: University of California Press 1971).

Pierre-Elliot Trudeau, Federalism and the French Canadians (Toronto: Macmillan Canada, 1968).

The Rowell-Sirois Report: An Abridgement of Book 1 of the Royal Commission on Dominion- Provincial Relations, edited and introduced by Donald V. Smiley (Toronto:
McClelland and Stewart, 1963).

Norman Ward, The Canadian House of Commons: Representation (Toronto: UTP, 1950).

John Meisel, The Canadian General Election of 1957 (Toronto: UTP, 1963).

André Siegfied, The Race Question in Canada (Originally published 1907) Available electronically through the UofT Library System.”

alena September 19, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I hope that the film will turn out to be an exciting event.

alena September 19, 2012 at 1:15 pm

I had put the poster up on our fridge and also at my school.

Sarah September 21, 2012 at 8:27 am

There is an excellent TA union, so if you find yourself doing more work than they’re paying you for then speak to them. The estimates don’t strike me as especially unreasonable, except insofar as you’ll need to prepare for the tutorials (though maybe do that in office hours) and the reading might take longer than an hour a week, though maybe the 27 extra hours covers that. Ultimately, TAing is both paid work and a way of learning whether you want to teach and how to do so decently. If academia as a career appeals then bear the latter in mind :-)

Milan November 26, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Here are some of the results of using a random presentation assignment system that I found to be common and effective in Oxford seminars with my own undergraduates:

Evaluating random presentations as a form of undergraduate tutorial evaluation (Powerpoint 1.4 megabytes)

1.3 megabyte PDF

I may write up a more detailed discussion when I have more time.

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