I. Professional skills
1. Learn to teach, step-by-step: When you have to teach on your own, you will have many of the basic lessons already under your belt, making the whole process of developing and teaching your own classes much easier.
2. Paper presentation and Conference skills: Presentation skills, answering questions, improvisation, organization, stimulating conversation, generating interest for your own discipline in a disparate audience
3. Resume: Develop a teaching portfolio; broad teaching experience can build your resume, and may lead to additional opportunities in the future
4. Grants and Mentorship:
A. Mentorship/Teaching grants
B. Connections with other graduate students and professors can pay off
II. Personal satisfaction: Stay inspired/in touch with reality: Maintain and share your love of the discipline, topic, and/or of learning in general. Learn from students' questions.
1. Mentorship of students, opportunity to help students:
A. Reputation: you will be working with other grad students- some of whom may end up being colleagues, and for professors who will soon be senior colleagues. Your reputation as a TA is part of what you will rely on even as a post-grad.
B. Time/Energy: it is a lot easier and faster in the long run to do your job right- if you do not take care of your responsibilities as a TA, you will run the risk of student complaints, more meetings to fix problems, official review of grading decisions, etc.