Teaching assistants

Teaching assistantships offer graduate students the chance to support the learning of undergraduates while building skills that will support them in their own academic careers.

ExpecTAtions teaching assistant workshop

The starting point for anyone wishing to serve as a Waterloo Engineering teaching assistant (TA), ExpecTAtions is a mandatory workshop currently offered near the end of the fall and winter terms. Students who attend and successfully complete all required components receive a certificate noting their achievement.

During the workshop, participants work in small, discipline-specific groups led by two mentors: one faculty member and one student with TA experience. These faculty and student mentors help prepare participants for the TA role by sharing their own experiences and perspectives. The workshop also includes an online component. Through this combination of small-group and online activities, participants learn about the roles and responsibilities of TAs, practise giving lessons and marking student work, and examine the working relationships between TAs, professors and students.


Completion of ExpecTAtions is required for anyone wishing to serve as a teaching assistant in the Faculty of Engineering.

Students will be invited to register for the April 2021 offering of ExpecTAtions by their department contact:

Due to the current suspension of on-campus events, we are planning to deliver the April 2021 offering of ExpecTAtions virtually. Registered participants will be informed in advance of this process.

Roles and Responsibilities

In addition to supporting student learning, teaching assistants (TAs) also fill two important roles: ambassador for the institution, faculty, department, and program; and front-line observer. Select a topic below for details about these roles and the basic standards Waterloo Engineering holds for TAs.