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TA Mentor

From the EDC website (this version no longer available):

TA Mentors play an important role in creating a sense of community amongst TAs and providing them with the support and training necessary so that they may successfully fulfill their roles. This year’s group of TA Mentors have demonstrated strong communication, interpersonal and organizational skills, and are approachable and interested in helping others. They will be on hand at departmental TA orientations, and will be offering workshops and social events (grading pizza evenings, venting coffee hours, etc.) for TAs in their departments throughout the academic year.

The mentor program was introduced to the School of Computer Science September 2009 after Carleton ran a pilot version in some departments the previous two years.


Some of the things I did during my two years as TA Mentor:

  • Introduced mentor program during our department's TA orientation and received positive feedback from School of Computer Science administrator and Dean of Graduate Studies.
  • Created, delivered, and arranged guest speakers for workshops relevant to computer science students:
    • Effective Office Hours
    • Grading (included a guest speaker)
    • Teaching Computer Science Concepts
    • Time Management (ran by a guest speaker)
    • Help! No One Understands My Lecture! (included a guest speaker)
    • Handling Difficult Situations
    • Assessment: Creating Assignments, Grading Consistently
    • Handling Difficult Situations
    • Preparing a Lecture or Tutorial
    • Communication and Presentation Skills (includes a guest speaker)
    • Professional Development (topic chosen by TA's)
  • Held successful social events for computer science students:
    • New Year's Pizza Lunch
    • TA's vs Faculty Soccer Match
  • Created and delivered workshops for all disciplines in the first annual TA Day
    • Reviewing Old Material
    • Enhancing Student Learning
  • Created a mailing list for TA's only where workshops are announced and where TA's can discuss issues they are facing confidentially.
  • Established first TA Award of Excellence.


I received the following email from the Dean of Graduate Studies after the department's TA Orientation:

I’ve just had forwarded to me the note that [the School administrator] sent you following the TA orientation session in the School of Computer Science. So – I just wanted to add my thanks for the excellent job that you are clearly doing as the TA mentor in the School.

The TA mentorship program is very important to us in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, and it is very encouraging when we see how well appreciated the work of our TA mentors is in the academic units in which they work.

With best wishes for the coming academic year.

You can see more feedback here.