Characteristics of a Good Mentor

How to Be a Good Mentor

A great mentor is above all a good role model.  Reveal the tricks of your trade - how to be a teacher, a researcher, or whatever it is you’re great at – through modeling. The best mentors also

  • show interest in mentee’s personal development
  • help mentees grow academically through constructive feedback
  • assist with goal-setting and celebrate achievements with mentees

It takes time to be a meaningful mentor. Remember that empathy is a key element to being a great listener and communicator. Actively encouraging an atmosphere of trust will help you work through potential challenges.  In the end, a mentor builds confidence and encourages you to become self-sufficient.

Getting Started with New TAs

  • Meet with new TAs to set teaching goals and expectations
  • Demonstrate effective course planning and teaching – allow new TAs to shadow your teaching
  • Bring new TAs together to discuss challenges and brainstorm solutions

Hands-On Feedback

  • Observe TA sections and provide constructive feedback
  • Emphasize what the TA does well
  • Review student teaching evaluations with TA and brainstorm ways to improve

Continued Support

  • Reach out to TAs who are struggling
  • Connect TAs to teaching resources and development opportunities
  • Lead teaching development workshops or arrange with VPTL to bring in a customized workshop
  • Provide course support, such as leading weekly/monthly TA meetings
  • Use Canvas to provide institutional memory for course materials (e.g. for previous exams, lectures, handouts, syllabi)