SCS TAships: Allocation of time

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SCS teaching assistants are typically assigned either a 'half TA ship' (135 hours) or a 'full TA ship' (270 hours) over the fall and winter terms.

Depending on the level of experience of the TA, these hours can be allocated in different ways. The following are three suggested assignments suitable for a TA in their first year with SCS, a TA in their second year, or a TA in subsequent years.

First-year TAs

In the first term in which a TA is appointed to SCS, it is expected that they will devote their time to preparation for consulting by attending consulting sessions of experienced consultants with a balance between faculty/staff consultants and experienced TA consultants.

A new SCS TA will be expected to focus attention on those aspects of the consulting session (eliciting a problem description from the client, asking background questions, determining an appropriate framework for advice, etc.) that can contribute to a successful outcome for the client. In these training sessions, it is often useful to discuss the session with the SCS consultant after it is concluded.

With a 0.5 TA, which amounts to 5 hours/week x 27 weeks = 135 hours for the full year, you would, during the fall term, attend weekly SCS meetings (1 hour), attend 3 hours of consulting sessions per week and devote one hour to other activities including organization, preparation and development. Note that it can take some time and effort to make arrangements to sit in on consulting sessions. This is recognized in the provision of time for that purpose. In the winter term, you would follow the schedule of a regular TA:

Fall term: (13 weeks)
13 1-hour SCS meetings                         13
11 weeks attending consulting sessions 11 x 3  33
Organization, preparation and development      19

Winter term: (14 weeks)
14 1-hour SCS meetings                         14
14 weeks of consulting 14 x 2                  28
Preparation and development                    28
Total                                         135

Experienced TAs (2nd year)

For TAs who have already had the experience of observing consulting session, with a 0.5 TA, which amounts to 5 hours/week x 27 weeks = 135 hours, you would attend weekly SCS meetings (1 hour), do 2 hours of consulting and the remaining 2 hours would be targetted at preparation/development:

27 1-hour SCS meetings            27
27 weeks of consulting 27 x 2     54
Preparation and development       54
Total                            135

Senior TA (3rd or later years)

With more experience you might like to teach an SCS short course. The appeal of teaching an SCS course is the experience it provides and also that it constitutes a form of teaching experience for future job applications.

Generally TAs stop consulting during the period of the course so here's a possible rationale for a 0.5 TA over a year (total 135 hours = 27 x 5).

27 1-hour SCS meetings            27
23 weeks of consulting 23 x 2     46
23 weeks of prep at 1 hr          23
4 weeks of a 3-hour course        12
Course preparation                27
Total                            135
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