Admirable qualities of a TA

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The list below represents what a group of experienced UVic Teaching Assistants (TAs) have identified as admirable qualities of TAs. Not all suggestions below may be applicable in all departments on campus. Please use the list as a guide only as this list is not exhaustive but encompasses a diverse array of qualities.

Some admirable qualities of a TA include …



  • Provide informative and constructive feedback
  • Understand your role and boundaries
  • Be tech proficient and up-to-date with current technology (e.g., Brightspace, MS Teams, Zoom)
  • Be organized and well prepared for each session
  • Always take the time to explain concepts so that students and fellow TAs understand
  • Accept and acknowledge different ways of learning and knowing, including cultural diversity
  • Ensure you are well-rested and in a healthy state of mind
  • Manage your time
  • Be practical about the expectations and duties of a TA
  • Open tutorials/ laboratory/ studios early to allow students time to settle down and prepare for class


  • Encourage eye contact with your students
  • If teaching online, show your face (on video, if possible) and encourage others to turn cameras on while respecting privacy
  • Be clear and transparent about expectations and assignments
  • Be accessible, especially being responsive to e-mails
  • Encourage building an inclusive, positive learning community
  • Be engaging: ask questions, interact with students
  • Ensure feedback is accessible, especially in online platforms
  • Be inspirational
  • Connect material to the world and help students see the relevance of what they are learning
  • Connect with your course instructor early in the term, and then throughout the term as needed


  • Be kind and understanding
  • Be humorous
  • Be honest
  • Have empathy
  • Provide timely feedback
  • Be prepared to provide academic, mental health and other resources
  • Be passionate about your research and what you are teaching
  • Be approachable
  • Be patient
  • Be enthusiastic
  • Be encouraging
  • Be supportive Be fair in all activities
  • Be open to trying new ideas
  • Offer praise to your students, your fellow TAs, and yourself

This guide was developed during the Teaching Assistant Consultants’ (TACs) seminars for the academic year 2009-2010 and updated in 2020-2021.

About this post

This post was last updated:

August 8, 2022

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