Get a Teaching Assistant
In order to assist you with managing the extra demands of teaching a service-learning course, the Service-Learning Program Office has partnered with the VCU Honors College and School of Education to create the Service-Learning Teaching Assistant Program and the Service-Learning Graduate Teaching Assistant Program.
About the SLTA/SLGTA Program
Through this program, service-learning course instructors have a trained graduate- or undergraduate-level teaching assistant work with them for an average of five hours each week throughout an academic semester.
Service-learning teaching assistants fill a number of critical support roles, including:
- Leading class discussions
- Monitoring student service hours
- Communicating with community partners
- Providing feedback on written reflections
Instructors nominate outstanding students for the SLTA/SLGTA Program. Nominated students receive training and supervision from the Service-Learning Program Office staff before and during the time they serve as teaching assistants.
Instructors may have more than one teaching assistant work with them to support teaching and learning in their service-learning class.
Requesting a SLTA or SLGTA
If you will be teaching a designated service-learning course and would like to have a SLTA or SLGTA, read about the SLTA/SLGTA Program and then invite an outstanding student you know to serve as your teaching assistant during the upcoming semester.
Once the invited student agrees to work as your teaching asssitant, e-mail the Service-Learning Program Office at firstname.lastname@example.org to provide the name of the student(s) you have nominated. The students also must submit an SLTA/SLGTA application .
Working with your SLTA or SLGTA
To cultivate a constructive relationship with your teaching assistant(s), consider the following guidelines:
- Establish clear job responsibilities for your teaching assistant before the beginning of the semester, including class attendance, grading journals, site visits, regular contact with service sites, monitoring student service hours and facilitating reflection activities
- Hold weekly meetings with your teaching assistant
- Introduce your teaching assistant to the class and explain the TA’s role at the first class meeting
- Act as a mentor to your teaching assistant
- Empower the position of teaching assistant
Evaluating your SLTA or SLGTA
Instructors who are working with a service-learning teaching assistant will be asked to complete a written evaluation of their teaching assistant twice a semester and to share these evaluations in constructive, face-to-face meetings with them.