TA Resources

As an instructor, planning a defined role for your teaching assistants (TAs) can help you run your course more smoothly and enhance the learning experience for your students.

Working with Teaching Assistants

Effective training and advising of teaching assistants (TAs) benefit both the students in their learning and TAs in their professional development.  Working effectively with Teaching Assistants can also accelerate their professional development. In this section, you can explore ways to work with your TA prior to your class beginning and during your class.

Resources for TAs

Help your incoming TAs prepare for their teaching responsibilities by asking them to participate in CTI’s Teaching Assistant Online Orientation. This brief, self-paced course provides information and guides reflection on preparing to teach, classroom roles & strategies, university policies, and campus resources.

Documents, Resources, and Tips


  • Refer to the Faculty Handbook pages related to Accommodations.
  • Become familiar with the general principles and recommended practices.
  • Disability accommodation requests first go through Student Disability Services, and the student or a Student Disabilities Services office counselor will provide the instructor of record  with an accommodations letter. Often, teaching assistants are responsible for setting up and providing accommodations. 
  • When designing your own course syllabus, consult a list of religious holiday observances when planning exam dates to avoid scheduling during religious holidays if possible.
  • There may be a variety of reasons for why a student might need learning accommodations. Disability takes a variety of forms and can be visible or invisible, chronic or intermittent, temporary or permanent, emergent or congenital. It becomes relevant where and when a student experiences barriers in the learning environment in relation to their disability. A barrier is anything that might limit a student’s ability to access materials, process information, or demonstrate learning effectively. The purpose of providing an accommodation is to make sure we remove unfair, and often arbitrary, barriers to success.

Mental Health 

College can be a stressful time for many students. It is also a time when mental illness may develop. If you suspect that a student may be experiencing distress, unless it is an emergency, consult with the instructor of record. This website on noticing and responding to students in distress is an excellent resource. 

Cornell’s Caring Community Website is also a great place to learn about the many resources and services here to help. If you want to talk with someone for advice about a student, call the 24/7 consultation service at Cornell Health at 607-255-5155.