I am a graduate teaching assistant at my university. This will be the first time I teach a course in the summer, 4 days a week, for an hour and a half each day. I have a general question. I hope your experience can help me!

  1. What is the typical workload like, compared to teaching a class during the school year?


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    $\begingroup$ Most universities expect that a summer course will cover the same material as the course with the same name (and number) in a regular semester. (I don't comment on whether the expectation is actually met.) $\endgroup$ May 16, 2014 at 18:32

1 Answer 1


This is around twice the workload (for the teacher and the students!) than during regular semesters. This means that stuff that has to "sink in" won't have time to do so. You need to take that into account. Talk to people who have taught this course (during the year, in summer), see if you can filch some notes (or at lest an outline).

  • $\begingroup$ Although the one advantage is that this will be the only course some of the students are taking. For some this lack of academic distractions can outweigh the lack of time. $\endgroup$ May 16, 2014 at 18:10
  • $\begingroup$ @MHH, such courses are typically taken by people who already took the course, or are very bright and want to leap ahead. Even so, one has to be careful that they really have time to "get" the subject. $\endgroup$
    – vonbrand
    May 16, 2014 at 19:57
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    $\begingroup$ Also, no matter how "light" the load might be relative to the ordinary school-year, many students will completely misjudge the "pace", and also misjudge their own capacity to catch up after falling behind, and also misjudge the level of attention required when things are happening double-time. Misjudgement/misperception of a changed environment is a big problem, in my experience. $\endgroup$ May 17, 2014 at 15:05

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