The Handbook for Economics Teaching Assistants

2 Preparation and Planning

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Many new GTAs wonder how there can possibly be enough to say to fill the class period. However, this will be the least of your worries. Your job is facilitating and moderating the class, not doing all the work for the students. New GTAs sometimes tend to over-manage the situation. Remember that the class isn't just a matter of your communication with your students; it's a chance for your students to share and explore ideas, explain their confusions, pool resources and develop their understanding. Your classes might include students from all over the world with a tremendous variety of educational and cultural experiences. It is easy to overlook this potential and the value of student input and to end up trying to carry the whole conversation yourself - which is incredibly exhausting and certainly unnecessary.