As Benjamin Franklin famously (kind of) said, “at Harvard, nothing can be said to be certain, except lazy TFs and overeager students.” Whether because they’re struggling with an assignment or hoping to suck up to their grader, overeager students can regularly be found at TFs’ office hours. So for those lazy TFs out there, here are the top five ways to deter students from showing up when you’re just trying to get ahead on your dissertation and watch some Hulu.
1. Make awkwardly might-be-sexual jokes in section.
Just sexual enough to make it uncomfortable, but not sexual enough to get fired.
2. Reference alternative resources for your students, including other TFs’ office hours, the professor, and tutors through the Bureau of Study Counsel.
You may be required to lead a section and host office hours, but there’s no reason for you to do anything extra when this University offers so many alternative resources.
3. Act like there is an expectation that every student read every paper.
Nothing stops students from attending office hours like the fear of being called out for a lack of reading. To intimidate your students even more, regularly and curtly cite obscure papers (including ones that aren't on the reading list) in response to questions in section.
4. Provide negative comments on an exam or paper but give a good grade.
No student would dare to bring that assignment to your office hours lest you realize that his or her grade should have actually been lower.
And finally, the best way of ensuring that students will not attend:
5. Hold office hours on Friday mornings.