I’m in a awkward spot. I’ve been asked to TA a course this fall. And I sort of want to but my supervisor doesn’t want me to.
I wrote a post a while ago about how I think that every grad student should TA at least once. But I have TA’d before, so this isn’t my only chance.
I’ve worked out a few of the pros and cons of me TA-ing this course this fall:
- Pro – Extra money. As a grad student, any extra income you can get is always very welcome. And I don’t like to turn it away.
- Con – My supervisor doesn’t want me to. And he makes a good point that I need to get a bunch of work done. Because I’ve had my topic change, I’m much farther behind then I’d like to be. And I’d really like to get a lot done, so I can graduate on schedule (my schedule, anyways).
- Pro – The course is fascinating to TA. I’ve never had my eyes opened in more ways then when TA-ing this course.
- Con – The course is very aggravating. I mentioned the opportunity to one person, and was told I should definitely not as I was in a bad mood the entire semester last time I TA’d it.
- Pro – The course is changing. It’s being taught by a different professor this year, and there are big changes in the work. I’m really interested to see how well the changes work.
- Con – It’s a part-time TA (which is a pro in that I can’t take a full time position) but when I TA’d it last time (and likely would happen this time) the work load ended up being much closer to full time.
Anyway, none of these reasons are good enough on their own to push one way or the other – except the one about my supervisor. I’ll run the idea by him again, but I’m pretty sure I won’t end up TA-ing the course. I don’t think it’s ever a smart move to go against your supervisor (although, I probably shouldn’t say “ever”).
On the other hand, my supervisor may have a course for me to TA starting in January. So fingers crossed…