January 6, 2018 at 1:04 pm

How to Survive the First Week of a Teaching Assistantship

Genoveva Di Maggio, headshot

Genoveva Di Maggio

By Genoveva Di Maggio
Graduate Student in Modern Languages at Ohio University

When we start graduate school, many questions arise. In addition to all the doubts, it is always necessary to do paperwork, meet professors and colleagues, and at the same time adapt to the new place of work and study. For that reason, we have created this little guide to help you survive the first week at the university.

  1. Participate in the welcome meetings. There is an orientation organized by the university. Therefore, the first thing you should do is participate in all the sessions and take note of all the suggestions and explanations that are provided. Not only will they give you information, but they also will allow you to meet other people in your same situation.
  2. Get to know your schedule. Before classes start, you will know your schedule, classes, laboratories, courses you teach, etc. Print them and take them always with you. This will help you adapt to the new routine.
  3. Get there early. You might have to go to different buildings. Some buildings are big, and classrooms are not easy to find. Before classes start, walk around and find your classrooms, labs, offices, etc. This would help you during the first week; that way you won’t get lost trying to find a place, and you will never be late. You will avoid unnecessary delays and inconveniences.
  4. Organize your time. The first week of classes can be very challenging. However, since you already know your schedule, you can organize yourself in advance and have everything you need at your fingertips.
  5. Know the services and the different areas of your department. Do not forget that this will be the place where you will spend the next years. Meet the administrative staff and introduce yourself. Be appreciative of them and their time. Be patient, they have a lot on their plate. You will need to ask for help many times.
  6. Take a walk around the building and your department. Familiarize yourself with each sector. It will significantly facilitate your adaptation.
  7. Eat well and get enough sleep. Decide what to eat and at what times, explore prices and options. It is best to maintain a balanced diet, eat healthy and regularly. Also, rest. Sleep at appropriate times. Your new schedules and responsibilities will demand energy to meet your goals. You will have time to go out and have fun. Now you need to be very careful not to miss anything.
  8. Ask away. Remember that most of your classmates went through this same situation one or two semesters before you. Therefore, they will help you with your doubts.
  9. Read the syllabus. Keep in mind that most of the information you will need is in the syllabus. Take some time to read everything. This will hopefully help you reduce the amount of questions you might have.
  10. Relax. It is the first week of the semester. You still have a lot of time to organize and adapt to your new university life. Be very positive and enjoy this great experience.

See more Resources for Teaching Assistants at Ohio University.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *