Let me tell you about the path I chose to take…
Almost every incoming freshman is required to take a developmental writing course at SDSU. That typically is RWS 100 one semester, followed by RWS 200 the next. Many of these classes are taught by graduate student Teaching Assistants (TAs). The TAs are limited to a class size of 25. When you consider the amount of incoming freshmen at SDSU in any given year (approximately 3,700), you’ll understand why there is a need for so many TAs to teach these required classes. Each TA is assigned a class of no more than 25 students.
So, how do you become a TA? There is an application process! But before we get to that…
There is also a required class, RWS 609, Theory and Practice of Teaching Composition, in which you must enroll before you will be offered TA contract. You can enroll in this class during the same timeframe that you intend to apply for a TA position (for the next semester). That is to say, you don’t have to take the class and wait until the following semester to apply – which would result in you waiting for nearly a whole year (although if that’s what you want to do, you can). To clarify what I am saying, let me share the application deadlines from this year:
Here’s the catch: taking the class does not necessarily guarantee that you will be brought on as a TA, so it is a gamble in that you will have potentially “wasted” 3 units, and the money to pay for those 3 units. Bear that in mind, but do not let it discourage you.
- · An application form
- · Transcripts
- · Three current letters of recommendation that will be sent directly to the DRWS office.
- · A statement of purpose
- · A writing sample of about five pages of expository prose
If you do have any questions at all, or would like some assistance in preparing your application, I will happily make myself available to you. Just get in touch with me via firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll go from there. Good luck!