Primary TA responsibilities

It is important that you as a TA are able to determine how many hours to allocate for class time, laboratories, office hours, preparation, grading and other duties.

By determining which duties are most important to take on, you will be better able to manage time and perform responsibilities. If you're a new TA, start with this checklist and determine with the course instructor:


Questions TAs may want to ask was adapted from The Center for Teaching and Learning Services. (2008). TA Responsibilities Checklist. Retrieved July 6, 2010, from the University of Minnesota website:

What am I, as a TA, responsible for?

__ Working __ hours per week (See Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Agreement at for details about your position)
__ Holding office hours
__ Attending lectures
__ Keeping class records
__ Creating/selecting class materials
__ Presenting new material/lecturing
__ Leading discussions/answering questions
__ Conducting review sessions
__ Holding tutorial sessions
__ Duplicating materials
__ Preparing/collecting solutions to questions
__ Grading/providing feedback on assignments and exams
__ Assigning course grades
__ Ordering, obtaining AV equipment/materials
__ Setting up the lab
__ Running recitation or lab section(s)
__ Demonstrating procedures or setting up demonstrations
__ Cleaning the lab
__ Other

Common questions to consider at your initial TA/supervisor meeting

Course overview

  • What are the course goals/objectives?
  • Who are the students (background with subject, level, class list, etc.)?
  • What are the names/emails/phone numbers of other TAs assigned to this course?
  • What is the procedure to follow if the TA is ill or must miss a class/lab?
  • What is the workload distribution among TAs assigned to the course?
  • What are TAs expected to do prior to the first class meeting?
  • Are TAs expected to attend the first class meeting?

TA/supervisor meetings

  • How frequently will TAs meet with the professor/supervisor?
  • How can the TA be contacted by the professor/supervisor?
  • How can the professor/instructor be contacted?


  • How does the TA obtain a copy of the textbook or labratory manual?
  • If the TA is responsible for putting materials on reserve, what procedures must be followed?
  • Are TAs expected to read all class materials and answer student questions regarding these materials?
  • Will the course have a Coursespaces page?
    • Who is the contact for technical problems?
    • In what ways are the students expected to use it?

Class and office hours

  • How often must the TA attend class?
  • What responsibilities does the TA have during class time?
  • Does the professor hold office hours? When?
  • Is the TA expected to hold office hours? When?
  • Is the TA expected to hold review sessions?


  • Is the TA expected to reserve, obtain and return AV, computer or laboratory equipment?
  • Is the TA to photocopy materials for the course?
    • If so, what materials will need to be photocopied and where are they located?
  • Should the TA bring photocopied materials to class?
  • Where should photocopying be done?

Assignments and exams

  • What assignments will the course expect of students?
  • Who is responsible for making grading rubrics?
  • Are there mechanisms for students to challenge grades?
  • What responsibilities will the TA have in regards to assignments and grading?
  • Will the TA be expected to invigilate exams?
  • Will the TA help in preparation and writing of course exams?
  • Are TAs expected to bring materials to the exam?


  • What manner of performance evaluation can the TA expect?
  • When will evaluation be given?
  • Will students have an opportunity to evalute the TA?