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Teaching Yourself How to be a Teaching Assistant

Bucknell offers a great opportunity to students to be teaching assistants (TA) for languages and some STEM courses. A language TA, however, is tasked with teaching classes on their own called recitations. Like the professor, a TA needs to create lesson plans and activities to further the students’ learning and keep them engaged. It is harder than it seems if we’re being honest!

This semester is the second time I have been a French101 TA, and I have grown to really enjoy doing it. The first time I taught as a TA was my sophomore year and I definitely struggled. It was hard for me to see myself as my students’ teacher and not just one of their peers. I was teaching a lot of people older than me and I felt very anxious every time I held my recitations. It was still a successful experience and I’m happy that I gave it a try even though I was terrified most of the time. Now, as a senior, I chose to be a TA again and I absolutely love it. I have so much more confidence as a teacher and my French being exponentially better also helps. Coming back from a semester abroad in France has definitely made me feel so much self-assured when speaking French. I have become quite good at making fun powerpoints as well as activities I think would be fun for college students.

Overall, I would one-hundred percent recommend being a TA if you have any language skills. While I do not know much about being a TA for STEM classes, I have friends who have done it and also have had amazing experiences. It is one of my most rewarding parts of my college experience and I am so proud of how far I have come.

Kendall is from central NJ and is a strong lover of a bacon, egg, and cheese on a sunny Sunday morning.
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