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Characteristics of a Good Mentor

A great mentor is above all a good role model.  

Reveal the tricks of your trade – how to be a teacher, a researcher, or whatever it is you’re great at – through modeling. The best mentors also:

  •     show interest in mentee’s personal development
  •     help mentees grow academically through constructive feedback
  •     assist with goal-setting and celebrate achievements with mentees
It takes time to be a meaningful mentor. Remember that empathy is a key element to being a great listener and communicator. Actively encouraging an atmosphere of trust will help you work through potential challenges.  In the end, a mentor builds confidence and encourages you to become self-sufficient.

Getting Started with New TAs

  •     Meet with new TAs to set teaching goals and expectations
  •     Demonstrate effective course planning and teaching – allow new TAs to shadow your teaching
  •     Bring new TAs together to discuss challenges and brainstorm solutions

Hands-On Feedback

  •     Observe TA sections and provide constructive feedback
  •     Emphasize what the TA does well
  •     Review student teaching evaluations with TA and brainstorm ways to improve

Continued Support

  •     Reach out to TAs who are struggling
  •     Connect TAs to teaching resources and development opportunities
  •     Lead teaching development workshops or arrange with CTL to bring in a customized workshop
  •     Provide course support, such as leading weekly/monthly TA meetings
  •     Use Coursework to provide institutional memory for course materials (e.g. for previous exams, lectures, handouts, syllabi)