Department of Mathematics

Van Vleck Hall, 480 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI

TA Policies and Procedures

Colleague Coverage/Sick Leave

The contract with the University gives TAs sick leave of 12 half-days per semester. The sick leave can be carried over to next teaching semester. Therefore, if none of sick leave is used a TA can have 24 half-days for sick leave in one semester.  If you need to miss teaching your section(s) because of illness or injury (yours or someone in your immediate family), you can choose to use this sick leave. Ordinarily, especially for short illnesses, instead of taking sick leave people will simply find an unpaid substitute which is acceptable to the Course Supervisor (i.e. lecturer) and the TA Coordinator, Prof. Gong, or fulfill duties at a different time or by other means which are acceptable to the teaching supervisor.

However, you should be aware that the option of taking sick leave exists. If you need to take sick leave which cannot be arranged in advance, call the Department's Receptionist (608-263-3054) AND contact the TA Coordinator, Prof. Gong (608-262-3546) as soon as possible. Taking sick leave does not require you to find a substitute. However, you should notifiy the TA Supervisor as soon as possible and provide assistance to identify a substitute. Canceling class is not an option.

If you need to miss classes due to a reason other than being sick (e.g. attending a conference), you need to provide your Course Supervisor and the TA Coordinator (Gong) with a class coverage plan. Cancelling classes is not acceptable.


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended – is a federal law that governs the privacy of student educational records, access to those records, and disclosure of information from them. These rules apply to TAs as graduate students but also to TAs as instructors. TAs need to be aware of what they can and can not share about their students. Please see, for more information.

Grading Policies

TAs are in charge of keeping a record of their students' grades. TAs must file a copy of these at the end of the semester. TAs can get paper grade sheets along with other office supplies from the Receptionist on the 2nd floor of VV. TAs can also keep their grades on a spreadsheet. On the Math Dept Linux machines, look for Applications>Office>Gnumeric Spreadsheet. Spreadsheets allow for easy computation of averages and to be able to have a condensed version of the grades at the end of the semester.

Submitting Grades

At the end of the semester, TAs will file students' grades electronically. TAs can access the grading system via their MyUWaccount. Emails will be sent out as to how to do this process. Ask other TAs for assistance if needed.

Midterm Grades

First year undergraduate students receive midterm grades. TAs should submit these electronically using the above system. While these are not their final grades, it gives the students an idea of how they are doing. If in doubt, ask the lecturer what data to use for the midterm grades. Usually your students will have at least one exam score and some quiz scores. This is usually the data that is used.

Final Grades

TAs will have to submit all students' grades at the end of the semester. Final grades are due no later than 96 hours after the final examination.

Warning: Do NOT turn in grades late! There are deadlines for when the grades are due. For instance, if deadlines are missed, students' financial aid status can be jeopardized. Also if the deadline is missed, TAs will need to submit an individual Grade Change Form for each and every one of the students in the class.

Filing Finals and Gradebooks

In addition to submitting electronic grades, TAs must file hard copies of the students' final exams and the gradebook. These hard copies will be kept available for the students, the lecturer's or the TA's reference. Exams are kept for one semester and grade books for a year (at least). These are to be filed in room 205 VV. Gradebooks and exams are filed separately.

Label the gradebooks with the TA's name, course number, and section number. Put this in the top left file drawer in room 205 VV in the folder with the TA's name on it. With the final exams, make a cover sheet with the TA's name, course number, and section number. Put a rubber band around the whole thing (tests and cover sheet) and file the packet in alphabetical order in the appropriate final exam drawer. There will be information in room 205 VV about this procedure.


Please discuss the 'incomplete' policy with the lecturer.

Teaching Evaluations

TAs are evaluated once per semester in two ways. Students are given the opportunity to fill out TA evaluation forms towards the end of the semester. Faculty also fill out evaluation forms for the TAs they supervise. Student evaluation forms are sent to be computer analyzed. Both sets of evaluations are read by two members of the TA Evaluation Committee. A rating is assigned based on the numerical computer generated scores and comments of students and faculty.

TAs will receive the results at the end of the semester after the grades have been posted online and exams have been filed.

The Graduate Administrator will send an email informing TAs when TA evaluations will be done. Follow the instructions given and be aware of deadlines! If evaluations are not returned on time, this creates problems for all the TAs to get their results back on time. The process is time consuming, labor intensive and any delay at any point could result in the process not being completed by the end of the semester.

UW-Madison Department of Mathematics
Van Vleck Hall
480 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI  53706

(608) 263-3054

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