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Teaching Assistant Responsibilities

Arrive on time & remain in lab. Students cannot be admitted to the classroom until you arrive. TA may not leave the lab unattended while students are in the room. Arrangements must be made with Instructor to cover unavoidable absences or planned breaks.

Report equipment problems in writing to the Lab Staff. Leave a note (room #, area, problem, etc.) at the Stockroom.

Leave on time. All sections in a class have the same amount of work time. Do not allow students to work beyond the allotted time, even in late afternoon sections. Begin cleaning early enough to assure that everyone leaves on time. Turn off the room lights. Lock lab and instrument room doors when you leave.

In the laboratory, maintain cleanliness and orderliness – leave it clean for the following section. Instruct students in cleaning their work areas and instruments; assure that these chores are done before dismissing students or signing their lab notes. Assign students – on a rotating basis – to erase the chalkboard and clean laboratory sinks, hoods & balance room. Check all faucets before leaving.

Recommend Emergency Response Information forms. Recorded information will assist Emergency Responders in case of serious illness or injury. Each lab student is asked to keep a copy inside the back cover of the lab notebook. All lab workers should carry a copy in the wallet or bag. Forms are available in labs & in the Stockrooms.

Summon assistance in an emergency; some laboratory classrooms have on-campus telephones. Additional telephones are available in the Stockrooms (York Hall 3150 & 1808; NSB 1104) and in the Student Affairs Office (York Hall 4010). The emergency intercoms in the elevators will also contact campus emergency services.

  • From any campus phone, dial 911 for police, fire and medical assistance.
  • From a personal phone, dial (858) 53_4HELP (858 534 - 4357).

Report all injuries, no matter how minor. Forms are provided in the labs & Stockrooms. Student injuries are reported to the Lab Manager. TA (& other employee) injuries are reported to the supervisor (TA Coordinator, Student Affairs Office) and UCSD Workers' Compensation Office.

Run a fire drill. Before dismissing lab on the first day, walk with your class to the building evacuation assembly location. This is the only practice your students will have; we do NO FIRE DRILLS during the term. Take all alarms seriously. Consult with the Safety Coordinator if you need assistance.

Know and teach your emergency equipment. During the first meeting, before starting lab check-in, show students the location of the eyewash, safety shower, fire extinguishers, spill kit and telephone (if available), as well as Lab Rules poster.

Know, model & enforce safe lab procedures. Consult instrument manuals and the class text. Work with your Instructor and Lab Assistant if you are unsure of the best course of action.

Prepare to teach and demonstrate the techniques and instruments needed in each day's exercise. If the instrument is unfamiliar, contact your Lab Assistant and arrange a time to review and practice with the instrument. Do not expect assistance with the same day's exercise in the hours immediately before lab starts.

Refer students to appropriate services. GIVE ADVICE ONLY IN YOUR AREA OF EXPERTISE.  For questions outside your area, especially health care, send the student to the office that can help (ask Lab Staff if you’re not sure).  A few examples:

CHEM Student Affairs
(YORK HALL 4020)
Administrative & academic issues 858-534-4856
Student Health Medical evaluation & treatment 858-534-3302
Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) Services to those with disabilities (temporary or permanent)
including classroom accommodations
CAPS: Counseling & Psych Service
URGENT CARE: at CAPS Central Office
Galbraith Hall, Room 190
Psychological counseling & crisis intervention

(after hours, select Option 2)

CALL 858-534-4357 or 911

College Provosts’ offices

Academic advising
WebReg via TritonLink Registration issues
Career Services Career counseling 858-534-3750