Experiencing the Classroom as a CRLS Teaching Assistant

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Adel Baimatova

Adeline Vidolova is one of the many TA's at CRLS.

Anais Killian, Contributing Writer

The Teaching Assistant Program at CRLS has continued to expand and change throughout CRLS’ existence. According to the CRLS course catalog, the TA program “deepens the work of students acting as Teaching Assistants in CRLS classrooms. Qualified Student TAs … begin to explore the teaching profession by assisting the supervising teacher with classroom duties and through the development of a lesson plan and presentation.” Juniors and seniors have the opportunity to become a TA in classes at CRLS, as an honors elective. Students complete weekly logs documenting their work and are required to conclude with a final inquiry project based on their experience.

Ella Henry ’21 is a TA for HN Chemistry with Mr. Nicholas Parsons this semester. Henry told the Register Forum that her favorite part is “troubleshooting. I can stop students from making the same mistakes I did. It’s so nice to have those ‘oh I get it’ moments.”

[Being a TA] is a really interesting thing to do.”

— Levi Herron '20

Levi Herron ’20 is a TA for HN Biology with Mr. William McDonald. Reflecting on his experience as a TA, Herron said that “it is a really interesting thing to do, a really different experience of being in a classroom in another setting as a student. It’s a really cool first step for people who do want to be a teacher.”

Willa Frank ’20 is a TA for AP Biology with Ms. Laura Borrelli. She believes that “it’s fun to be a TA because you get to experience a class from a totally different lens and it gives you insight into a teacher’s world at Rindge.” She continued, saying, “I realize you kind of know nothing about what it’s like to be a teacher at our school. You also get to walk the line between being a friend for everyone in your class and being a teacher and you get to have a more personal relationship than a teacher could while still helping students.” Although Frank sees the interesting benefits of the TA program, she also added that the system is “a little opaque. It isn’t an actual class, so it can feel like you’re floating along by yourself.”

You get to walk the line between being a friend and being a teacher.”

— Willa Frank '20

Teesa Manandhar, also a senior, had a similar opinion to Frank on the system’s flaws. Manandhar is a TA for a freshman film class in the Media Arts Department with Ms. Dacia Antunes. “It is a little disorganized,” Manandhar told the Register Forum. “Communication of when logs and forms are due is unclear sometimes. It seems like all the TA’s are on different pages. I wish it was more interactive, [and] I don’t really know what contributes to my grade.”

While the TA program varies for TA’s depending on the subject, class environment, and instructor, the course is still designed so students can be in the classroom with a teaching role, or as Frank said, so that they can experience “the other side of the classroom.”

This piece also appears in our November 2019 print edition.