As the semester draws to a close, think about how to make the final assignment you require of students a learning experience they can carry with them as they move on in their course of studies.

First impressions matter in most situations and especially in the classroom. As a TA, you might be concerned about your role as an authority figure.

One way to reach students early is to put in writing, and then discuss your course policies, requirements, tests and assignments with your students in class. If your syllabus is already written, use this checklist to test its adequacy.

Many aspects of the teaching assistant's rolemay create ethical dilemmas of one sort or another.

Do your undergraduate students seem to have trouble organizing or summarizing the primary or secondary literature in your discipline?

The first thing students look for on the first day of class is the syllabus. The syllabus gives them an idea of what to expect for grading, when important assignments are due and how much homework to expect.

Whether you teach a lab, recitation or lecture or work with students in a resource room as a tutor, you function as a role model and a mentor, serving the needs of undergraduate students in ways that many faculty can’t. But how?

This is a simple technique described by Angelo and Cross (1991) to encourage students to read and to reflect on what they read.

Conflicts with troubled students can happen when you least expect them. From a student angry about a bad grade to a one who comes to you for help with a personal problem, it’s wise to be prepared.