What makes a good teacher? Being a good teacher requires much more than knowing your way around campus or memorizing the rules and regulations of the university. Successful teaching demands a thorough understanding of the course material, a respect for students, a commitment to excellence, as well as a recognition of the need to examine, assess, and adjust your own pedagogical goals and philosophy as you go along.
The transition from student to student and teacher is a major one, requiring a conscious evaluation of your feelings about both roles. What expectations do you have for yourself as a student and as a teacher? How do they differ? How can these contradictions be resolved? How will your new position affect your relationships with undergraduates? How will you know how to act in front of a class? Will you model yourself on a favorite teacher, or is it best to be completely original? What kinds of demands will you make upon your students in terms of classwork, discipline, attendance, or grades? How can you ensure fair treatment of all students? What kind of relationship should you establish with your students? Distant or friendly, formal or informal?
These and a hundred other questions will probably present themselves to you. The TA Handbook is not meant to be definitive or prescriptive, but, rather, to offer suggestions about how to proceed based on the choices that others have found beneficial.
The TA Handbook is available as a PDF or an ePub.