Declining a TA position?

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Cilia
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:36 pm

Declining a TA position?

Postby Cilia » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:37 am

(Disclaimer: I'm sure this will seem like a really simple issue for a lot of people, but I'm terrible at these things, so please bear with me)

A former prof of mine has reached out to me personally to be a TA because I did very well in the class. There were general ads out for the position at first. I assume no one (or at least no one qualified) applied, hence the personal invitation I just received.

The thing is, I don't think I grasped the material nearly well enough to assist with teaching this course. I just tested well that day.

I have a plausible excuse too; I currently have a class conflict that would not allow me to attend the class for which I would be a TA. In all honesty, I could easily drop the class that causes the conflict and accept the TA position (because the class creating the conflict is really just an elective I signed up for so that I could have the schedule I wanted with the appropriate number of credits). In any case, it's the best excuse I have.

Right now, I'm on the fence, but leaning toward declining. I really don't want to offend the professor though. I have to email him back as soon as possible, but I'm terrible with emails in general, so I don't know how to phrase my response. (I've always been told my emails are extremely formal and that I try too hard with them, but I would rather be overly formal than rude).

So far my draft email says:

Professor ___,

And...that's as far as I got. Any help would be much appreciated!

Other (relevant?) info: rising 3L, still have no idea if I'll ever want to clerk, have a job offer (BigLaw/Firm)

Damage Over Time
Posts: 255
Joined: Mon May 16, 2016 8:14 pm

Re: Declining a TA position?

Postby Damage Over Time » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:52 am

I don't think you are at any risk of any meaningful repercussions from declining the TA position. Interested to hear what others have to say, but I would turn it down (even without the conflicting class, you have every right to turn it down, imo) and briefly mention the reason(s).

Dear Professor,

I regret to inform you that I must decline your generous offer to be [a TA] for [class]. I am faced with a scheduling conflict that interferes with my ability to attend your class, and my workload for the semester doesn't afford me the opportunity to help you with [matters relating to the position]. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and hope that you'll find [a TA] for [class] soon.

Best regards,

Cilia

Cilia
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:36 pm

Re: Declining a TA position?

Postby Cilia » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:29 pm

This is really helpful. Thanks!

Damage Over Time wrote:I don't think you are at any risk of any meaningful repercussions from declining the TA position. Interested to hear what others have to say, but I would turn it down (even without the conflicting class, you have every right to turn it down, imo) and briefly mention the reason(s).

Dear Professor,

I regret to inform you that I must decline your generous offer to be [a TA] for [class]. I am faced with a scheduling conflict that interferes with my ability to attend your class, and my workload for the semester doesn't afford me the opportunity to help you with [matters relating to the position]. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and hope that you'll find [a TA] for [class] soon.

Best regards,

Cilia

ConfusedL1
Posts: 239
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:53 pm

Re: Declining a TA position?

Postby ConfusedL1 » Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:21 pm

+ maybe a line about really enjoying the class or something




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