Summer TA work at U of T

2016-05-25

in Canada, Daily updates, Economics, Rants, Teaching, Toronto

In each year of my PhD, I have applied for all the summer teaching assistant (TA) positions offered in the Department of Political Science (and, after second year, in the School of the Environment too). I never heard anything back as the result of my applications, including for frequently-advertised ’emergency’ positions and jobs in statistics courses which I expected to be less popular.

Today I had a brief conversation with a prof who I worked for in a fall and winter term and learned that virtually all summer TA jobs go to people who are beyond the 5-6 year span where U of T provides funding. Apparently, summer TA jobs all go to people who are in their 8th or 9th year, or otherwise well beyond the “funded cohort” and seniority is the overwhelming criterion used to select them.

It’s reflective of how U of T generally under-funds its graduate students, as well as how the quality of teaching provided to undergrads is clearly not a university priority.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

. June 9, 2016 at 9:29 pm
Milan October 16, 2018 at 5:19 pm

It would be cool if there were an equivalent of ratemyprofessors.com for graduate students who are thinking about working as a teaching assistant for a professor. Maybe it would be of only notional interest at U of T, however, since grad students are rarely in a position to turn down any teaching job they are offered, either because they will be punished for it in subsequent years by subsequent appointment rules or because they are outside the funded cohort and are lucky to have any TA offer to use to help pay the bills.

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