I can give a deep yoga breath of relief. Letting go has been easy. The TAs seem happy with the increased autonomy. Glad to allow them more opportunities on their own. The test questions they suggested were good. And, I incorporated some of them into the exam. I think each time I work with a different group of TAs this will get easier and easier.
What the TAs hopefully understand is that they are crucial to the success of the class. A disorganized TA who is “phoning it in” will not perform as well. Our undergrads not only smell fear, but they also sense when you don’t want to be there. And, this extends to instructors. I was just chatting with a colleague from another department about our jobs and she concurred that academics are pretty lucky. I repeat: we get paid to talk, think, and write.
The TAs are lucky too, as they get to have such an important role in the students’ learning. My hope is that letting go allows the TAs to flourish and that they will try out things with the students.