Teaching Assistant 101

This semester I had the great opportunity to be a teaching assistant for a psychology class: Research Design and Analysis (RDA). RDA is class on the principles of research design, measurement, and inference in psychological research. The class has a lecture and lab portion. As a teaching assistant, I held the responsibility of helping the class with regular homework through TA sessions as well as helping both professors with grading. I really enjoyed taking this class again as a TA because it gave me an opportunity to reconsolidate my knowledge as well as share my studying experiences with other students.

At the end of any teaching or mentoring position, I am always amazed at how much I’ve grown and learned while “teaching” other students. Teaching is a constant dialogue between the teacher and the student. Being a TA taught me how to be more understanding of different learners. Unlike younger children I’ve tutored or taught in the past, I realized college students have a more fuller and broader learning experience. I found it difficult to offer new ways of critical thinking and problem solving since most students already had been in school for a long time. Although it was challenging at first, I thus learnt how to be flexible and patient with students who had varying learning approaches.

Since many students in the class were in my year or a year below me, I believe I also gained important skills that allow me to work professionally even with my peers. I really appreciated being able to work closely with two amazing professors. I was able to get a whole new perspective on teaching higher education and the fun every day life of a Professor. Without a doubt, my favorite part of being a TA was looking over the student’s homework and seeing a glimpse of their learning progress and achievement. Overall through my first semester of being a teaching assistant, I was able to reconfirm my passion and love for teaching.