IT WAS A PLEASURE

Most of you know I was a TA for the first time this term. I’ve tutored high school students one-on-one before but this was the highest level of education I’ve been involved in as an instructor. This was also the largest number of students I’ve had at one time as well, totaling over 40 students in my tutorial.

I met with them four hours a week for the last three months. Over that time, I think everybody got to know me quite well. Sometimes you don’t even remember your TA’s name, I think every one of my students knew my name.

They had their last tutorial last Wednesday. I had to give them a quiz, which probably wasn’t the best way to end things, but I think they all did alright.

As they handed in their papers, some of my students were thoughtful enough to make some comments to me. Several of them thanked me for being their TA and shook my hand. I really appreciated this. A few even wished me good luck with my degree. It’s nice to know they remembered that I’m a student too.

One guy even said that out of all his TAs, I was the best in the bunch. I asked him how many TAs he had and he said three. This made me feel good. As engineering students, they’ll see a million TAs in their academic career and I hope for at least him, I’ll have set some standard.

One young lady said that I was “awesome” and I should teach. I thanked her for her comments. A lot of people have said I’d make a good instructor, but I don’t see myself teaching elementary or high school students. The only other option is post-secondary, and they usually don’t let you teach at that level without a doctorate. Unfortunately, I don’t really see myself doing a PhD.

At the end, I felt a sense of responsibility for these students. I hope that even in the littlest sense I was able to impart some wisdom, some indication of what you need to do to survive as an engineering student.

Most TAs are evaluated by a form that each students fills out. I will not be getting such feedback. The course I TA’d is unique in the sense there are several instructors and the standard forms don’t fit the mold. It’s really too bad since I’d like to improve on what I did this term.

Before I gave the quiz out, I told my students it was a pleasure having them this term and I wished them good luck with the rest of their career at UBC. I’ll probably won’t TA any of them ever again.

About an hour after the quiz was handed out, they had all left. I was a bit sad to see them go, but next term I’ll have a whole new set of students to meet.

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