In 2014 Winter Session, we implemented the TA performance review process which had been piloted with 2014 Summer Session instructor and TA’s.
“I’m pleased to let you know that we are rolling out a TA performance review process for all LFS TAships.
The process has been developed as a way to facilitate discussions between a TA and the instructor in order to encourage growth and improvement in the TA’s skills, to enhance teaching performance, and to recognize successful teaching. Teaching assistants are potential academics in training. These positions provide an opportunity for students to be further integrated into the learning environment and to encourage teaching development.”
Gwen Chapman, Associate Dean, Academic
The feedback from both TA’s and instructors has been positive. At the end of the 2014 Winter Session, after reviewing feedback we had received from TA’s and instructors and following recommendations for a discussion group meeting in the spring, further adjustments to the TA performance review process were suggested and incorporated for 2015 Winter Session.
The evaluation process includes 2 mandatory components:
- A preliminary orientation meeting, to be held immediately prior to or within the first week of the start of term. At this meeting, the TA and instructor will go through the “LFS TA Orientation Guide”: a checklist to ensure that both are clear about the expectations of the TA’s role and the TA / Instructor relationship.
- The formal “TA Performance Review” to be completed at the end of the TA appointment.
In addition, there is an informal check-in component which can be used as a means of addressing specific areas of concern at an early enough stage of the TA appointment to allow the TA an opportunity to improve prior to the formal end-of-appointment final evaluation. This “TA Informal Check-In” is optional and can be requested by either the TA or instructor
Each of these forms should be returned to the Manager, Graduate Programs as soon as it has been completed to be added to the TA’s file. These steps are intended to enhance communication between the TA and Instructor, and to provide positive two-way feedback to encourage the TA’s professional growth and enhance the instructor’s supervision. Instructors who have serious concerns with the performance of a TA should discuss them with the TA as soon as possible and notify the Manager, Graduate Programs – LFS and/or the Director, HR & Administration.
Time used for this performance evaluation is part of the TA contract hours and should only take a total of ~1 hour.
Forms can be found under the Resources section of this blog