Teaching Fellow Etiquette

Guidelines to follow when running a session:

To do before students arrive:

  • Have all materials and books out
  • Set up the computer used for signing in and research
  • Configure the room so it works for small group activities and one-on-one settings
  • Put your materials away

To do as students arrive:

  • Greet students as they arrive, tell them your name and as for theirs
  • Have the student sign in and ask what class they are there for
  • Pair the student with others in the same class if possible

To do during a busy session:

  • Have the student take out their materials and tell them you’ll be over in a minute
  • Give them a small task to start or think of specific questions they have for you while you talk to another student

It’s the small actions like smiling and inviting students into the TF room that makes them more comfortable, willing to learn and excited to be there.


Time Management: Resources for a Busy Session


  • If you are working with another TF, recognize your strengths and work with students according to what you are good at.
  • Have a student think of three questions for you by the time you return to help them.
  • Have one student who you have helped teach others what they know.
  • Use the board!
  • Organize students based on class/professor/project


  • Use Concept Maps for understanding readings or planning papers.
  • When writing a paper, start with the conclusion and examine the explicit and implicit premises for the argument to determine if it is valid.
  • Pair students and play “Devil’s Advocate” for you partner’s main position in their paper.
  • Pair students and have them create three questions about a peer’s paper

Problem Solving:

  • Work through a general issue or a problem that all students have together/on the board so they understand the process and can do more work on their own.
  • Direct them to examples in the book or examples from personal experiences.
  • Have students only do one part of the problem and pass it on to the next- group problem solving.