Teaching in the Sciences and Engineering

Lab instruction combines many different aspects of teaching, including lecturing, organizing group work, leading hands-on learning, asking meaningful questions and evaluating student work. In the following sections, we will highlight the different roles and responsibilities of the lab TA and provide a collection of tips and tools to facilitate your transition into this role.

What do the students think? Click on the link below to watch a video of some undergraduate students at Harvard University describing what qualities they appreciate in a good lab TA:

http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/html/icb.topic221555/labs.html

Lab Safety
Regardless of the lab to which you are assigned, you must be familiar with pertinent safety information and emergency protocols including exit locations, eyewash stations, fire blankets, extinguishers and showers.
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Components of a Typical Laboratory Session

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Strategies for Preparing Effective Pre-Lab Talks
An effective pre-lab talk is the direct result of careful preparation.
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Responses to common laboratory questions
Questioning goes both ways in the laboratory setting. Students question TA's to make sure that they understand the laboratory material and the steps that they are following. TA's question students to probe the depths of their students' knowledge.
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Questions to ask yourself when preparing for a lab

As you prepare to conduct a lab, consider the following questions:


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