Pros vs Cons of Being a Teacher’s Assistant

27 Jun

This semester hasn’t even placed it’s big toe in the water yet, and I’m already pretty packed with activities and responsibilities to fulfill. That doesn’t mean I’m being a negative Nancy about it. Quite the opposite! I’m extremeeeely excited about all of these opportunities I’ve managed to gather. Not only will they be excellent for resumes, but I’ll actually learn and grow from them as well. Can you tell that I’m a die-hard optimist? Don’t worry, I am some-what of a realist as well, and I realize it’s going to take some of my fancy matador work to skirt around the bull and take all of this by the horns, but you’re darn tootin’ I will. I’ve always had a strong work ethic and decent time management, so this may just help me find any kinks within my way of working. Which is good!

Now, with that slight tangent-filled ramble aside, I’ll get onto what some of this had led to… Some thoughts on my TA position. (To go along with said earlier tangent, it’s all about time management, and some people despise all the grading and such… but I want to learn and become a better teacher/planner… it’s part of SLP)

Upside:

-Extra review of material, become well-versed: I don’t know about you, but I prefer knowing my material inside-out. It’s better knowing more about less than less about more.

-Interact with others: If you want to enter this profession, and numerous other paths, it’s best to have people skills.

-Helping others learn: This may not be a perk to all, but for most entering Speech-Language Pathology there is an intrinsic desire to help others! So I’ll feel complete at the end of the day.

-Building relationships with students and professionals: A professional and personal network are two good groups to have in life. Not only will they let you feel good/accomplished, but these groups, especially the professional one, will provide you with support throughout your career and life. Luckily, SLP has a GREAT online network!

-Time management: Assisting the teacher, aiding students, grading papers, and all of that on top of responsibilities for work and other classes will make you create a way to manage time if you don’t already have one!

-Leadership: Leading classes and discussing things with fellow students learning the material will boost up your leadership cred, which is (hopefully) considered better than street cred where you come from.

Downside:

-Grading many things: Grading tends to be delegated to student assistants for a reason. Especially for those ENORMOUS classes. At least you get to see some amusing student responses! And relearn the material… 20-150 times over.

-Occasional unnecessary emails from students about things already explained: Some students just don’t like to take the extra 5 seconds to read the syllabus or are busy looking at their phones instead of writing down the assignment. Luckily for them, we have access to e-mail. It’ll help you learn patience, at least!

-Last minute e-mails from students: Similar to the bullet above, some students thrive on procrastination. I understand, I occasionally partake in this extreme activity. What comes with this adrenaline-gushing experience is the ability to forget what all must be included or if there can be an extension, in which case, many e-mails are sent the night before or even day of! (Luckily, I’ve never had it that bad. Thank goodness! Or else I’d be kicking myself in the tush!)

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