As part of this post, Jasmeer has sent along the view from his desk (pictured above).
By Jasmeer SanghaPart of becoming a graduate student entails taking on some teaching duties. When first offered positions, I wanted to make sure my assignments would allow me to interact with the students face-to-face. I’ve had experiences both teaching a class and being solely a marking TA, and the sum of my experiences have taught me that the prior is more favourable.
In my final year of undergrad, I was presented with the opportunity to teach a tutorial section. This experience taught me that a team of students is needed to ensure a class is run properly. The team would meet once a week to go over the topics that were to be taught in the upcoming tutorials. These hour-long sessions would consist of all the TAs solving the quizzes we would be handing out to our students, and sorting out any ambiguous terms or statements in the provided tutorial slides. It was particularly challenging to coordinate the content students were taught in lectures versus what we, the tutorial leads, had planned to discuss with them. This was my first experience teaching individuals that were not close friends or family asking for assistance. I noticed that one must approach issues from a very different angle being an authority figure representing an institution, as opposed to a peer who is giving a helping hand. Having the responsibility of strengthening and contributing to these students’ education was a new feeling for me.