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Ta Cheat Sheet

First, thanks for volunteering your time to TA a workshop. Here we've tried to capture tips to make your experience, and your student's, better.

First, Do No Harm

The most important thing you can do as a TA is to make people feel they are in a safe learning environment. The worst outcome is for a student to leave frustrated, confused, or belittled and never wanting to try programming again.

Troubleshoot Problems

The most important job of a TA is to help students who are stuck on a step so that the whole class does not have to wait for them.

Make yourself available for questions and troubleshooting

Some amount of struggling is part of learning, but if someone looks frustrated, offer a simple "Anything I can help with?" At the same time, try not to hover.

Help the Teacher Read the Room

In general, teachers, especially new ones, tend to go too quickly. If you can tell students are confused, try offering to repeat your own explanation of a concept. Even just hearing it again can help and spark new questions.

If you can tell someone is flying through the material (which often manifests as impatiently checking their phone as they wait for others) casually mention they are free to move up to the next level class if this class is moving too slowly.

Help with Logistics

Volunteer to keep track of when it's time for breaks. This is super helpful!

Learn from Your Teacher

Most teachers begin as TAs. Note what does and doesn't work about the class and use that if you get the opportunity to teach.