Plan for Short- and Long-Term Rewards of TA-ing

1. Professional Skills

A. 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.

B. Paper Presentation and Conference Skills: Sharpen your skills for presentations, answering questions, improvisation, organization, stimulating conversation, and generating interest for your own discipline in a disparate audience.

C. Resume Builder: Develop a teaching portfolio; broad teaching experience can build your resume, and may lead to additional opportunities in the future.

2. Grants and Mentorship

A. Mentorship/Teaching Grants

B. Connections: Relationships and networking with other graduate students and professors can pay off later.

3. Personal Satisfaction

A. Stay Inspired/In Touch with Reality: Maintain and share your love of the discipline, topic, and/or learning in general. Learn from students' questions.

B. Mentorship: This is one of the first of many opportunities to help students.

4. Practicality

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. Make the Most of Your 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.

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