What are we talking about today?

Normal topics suspended for the A to Z Challenge. It's all books from April 1-30.

If you're here from the A to Z Challenge hoping I'll comment back if you comment first: Sorry to disappoint, but that probably won't happen. I work full-time and I grad school full-time, so I can't give the time to blog commenting that I would like. I'll visit after the end of the semester, I hope.

23 April 2013

T is for TA

Being a TA is a normal part of most graduate programes, en route to teaching lower-level classes in the final years of the PhD.

I don't think they use these any more.
From ywel on stock.xchng.
I am not normal.

No,  I'm an online student, and while I've heard there are online programs that include TA-ing for lower-level classes, my program doesn't do that. So on the one hand, I've been spared the quirks and silliness of a classroom full of freshman. On the other hand, I've also missed out on this valuable opportunity to see what college looks like from the other side of the podium. There are trade-offs to everything.

Most of my TAs at UT were spectacular, and I enjoyed getting to know them. (Although I have noticed that MA students tend to stand on their dignity a bit more than PhD students do-- I hope I'm not one of that type!) The only TA I really had a problem with was Skinny Jeans, who I managed to mention a few times. However, knowing that some of my TAs were wonderful and others not makes me even sorrier that I'm not getting a chance to learn how to do it well instead of muddling through badly, as I'm sure the first couple of semesters would go.

Since I know many of my readers are teachers at some level, today's question is: What was the most challenging part of your early teaching days? Do you even remember the things that used to be a challenge?

1 comment:

Thoroughly Modern Mommy said...

Time management is tough at first. Learning how much to plan, how long things will take, and understanding the part-to-whole, whole-to-part element of lesson planning. Now I do that part quickly and hardly give it a second thought. Harder than that, though, is figuring out who you are as a teacher- much like finding your voice as a writer. Then becoming comfortable with that person.

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