What is teaching experience in psychology?
Teaching experience can be obtained by becoming an undergraduate teaching assistant (TA). TAs work under the supervision of a faculty or graduate student instructor to learn about college-level teaching in psychology. Each undergraduate TA experience is unique, tailored to both the student’s skills and knowledge as well as the instructor’s needs. Independent of the particular course or instructor, TAs will benefit intellectually by developing their communication and leadership skills and by gaining a better understanding of the ways in which people learn.
For more information, please read the Handbook for Undergraduate Teaching Assistants, which can be found here.
Who is eligible to be a TA?
Undergraduate TAs are required to be more advanced students (junior or senior class standing in terms of time spent at UF, not # of credits; this means that you have completed at least two years at UF before being a TA) who have previously completed and earned an above-average grade in the course for which they will serve as a TA. TAs must be supervised by either a faculty member or graduate student instructor.
How can I become a TA?
Currently, there is no formalized process by which instructors select TAs. The decision regarding whether or not to have a TA is at the sole discretion of the instructor. Students should approach instructors directly and inquire about serving as a TA. To increase the likelihood of being selected, prospective TAs should demonstrate academic excellence in their courses and interact regularly with their instructors. Prospective TAs should also present themselves as mature and capable of functioning in a teaching role. Selection as a TA is an honor and is therefore reserved for truly outstanding undergraduate students.
Can I get course credit for being a TA?
Yes. The department requires that students register for credit under PSY 4940, Introduction to Teaching in Psychology, in any semester when the student is a TA. Students can take 0-3 credits per semester, with a maximum of 4 hours total. For each credit taken, students must complete 45 hours of work during this semester. This translates into 3 hours per week during Spring and Fall semesters, 3.75 hours per week during Summer C, and 7.5 hours per week during Summer A or Summer B (for each credit taken). A maximum of 9 hours from PSY 4940 and other individual work classes (PSY 3912 and CLP 3911, PSY 4905, PSY 4949, PSY 4970) can count toward the 36-hour minimum requirement.
To enroll, you must first get approval by an instructor to be a TA. Then, fill out and print this registration form, and obtain the signature of your instructor. If you plan to work primarily with a graduate student as your instructor, you must also obtain a signature from the graduate student’s faculty supervisor. Once signed, take the form to the Psychology Advising office (135 PSY), where an advisor will register you for the course. At the end of the semester, the instructor will assign you a S or U grade based on the hours you completed and the satisfactory nature of your work as a TA.
BEFORE ENROLLING FOR PSY4940 YOU MUST COMPLETE TWO TRAINING MODULES ONLINE: FERPA (TO PROTECT STUDENT PRIVACY) AND MAINTAINING A RESPECtFUL AND SAFE CAMPUS. TO OBTAIN INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO COMPLETE THIS TRAINING CLICK Training Instructions
Please note that all TAs must also read the Handbook for Undergraduate Teaching Assistants and abide by the guidelines and policies specified in the handbook.