Seeking college literature TA, Melbourne, Australia, January 2020.

I’m looking for a teaching assistant (hereafter TA) to join me in a University of Delaware study abroad program in Melbourne, Australia, in January 2020. A full description of the program is here: https://international.udel.edu/DB/PUB_Program.aspx?Pgm=2547

I’ll be teaching two classes, to 18 undergraduate students from the University of Delaware, all with good academic records but most of them not English majors. One class is a practical course on travel journalism and travel writing, and the other a literature class focusing on Australian novels and their adaptation into films. I need only general assistance for the journalism class, but envision the literature class as co-taught between the TA and me. So the responsibilities would include leading class discussions, grading, and finalizing the syllabus, which so far has on it Joan Lindsay’s Picnic at Hanging Rock (and film and recent TV versions) and Peter Carey’s The True History of the Kelly Gang (and multiple film versions). Therefore, I am looking for someone who has experience teaching (or would otherwise be qualified to teach) literature to college students, fewer than half of whom, I should note, are English majors.

To give an idea of general responsibilities, I am including at the end of this notice some language from the form that all University of Delaware study-abroad TAs have to sign.

There’s no salary for the position. But the university will pay for your airfare, housing, excursions, local ground transportation, international health insurance, and almost all meals in the beautiful, cosmopolitan, and warm (January is Australian summer) city of Melbourne. We will be based at University College, part of Melbourne University. Flights leave Philadelphia or Newark NJ January 2 and return February 6.

If you have questions, please email me at byagoda@udel.edu. If you want to apply for the position, send me your CV and a letter of reference by June 1.

Ben Yagoda

Below is an excerpt from the form TAs have to sign:

On-Site Expectations

I will pro-actively assist students in the group as needed, for example by:

  • demonstrating how to make a phone call, ride public transportation;
  • serving as a translator where necessary and as I am able;
  • quickly learning all of the students’ names.
  • accompanying students to the doctor or to other appointments;
  • accompanying the group on all excursions and activities;
  • suggesting activities for free time;
  • tutoring students who are having academic difficulty, as I am able;
  • listening to student complaints and concerns;
  • being reachable by students at all times, including during free periods;
  • maintaining a pleasant, positive, and approachable demeanor;
  • seeking opportunities to offer help and improve the students’ experience.

I will pro-actively assist the faculty director(s) as needed, for example by:

  • promptly reporting and documenting student misconduct;
  • promptly identifying and reporting potentially problematic or conflict situations with students before they escalate;
  • offering to handle tasks such as photocopying, counting students before departing on an excursion, distributing handouts, and the like;
  • grading assignments as asked;
  • maintaining contact with the faculty director at all times, even during program free periods;
  • taking the group on an excursion if the director must tend to an emergency;
  • managing the group temporarily in the director’s absence;
  • attending and participating in any post-program follow-up meetings.