Notebook open to a blank page.

The tools you use to transport materials to and from the classroom as well as the supplies you use when interacting with your students can influence their appreciation of your role as the instructor. While some TAs are not particularly concerned with the supplies they use in class, others are concerned carrying a backpack might make them seem the same age as their students (often especially a concern for younger TAs). If you are looking for another way to enhance your professional appearance and subtly establish authority, you might consider the following supply suggestions from a TA:

TA Testimony---A TA's Supply Suggestions

  • Carry a shoulder bag (messenger, attaché) or tote instead of a backpack. This can help to separate your roles as student and instructor.
  • Use a professional portfolio to carry papers/documents when not carrying a bag. It’s a nice touch and shows your students that you treat the assignments they submit with care because they are important.

 

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