TA courses: SHOULD THEY BE DROPPED? CON
April 13, 2016
In the classroom, teachers are outnumbered. For a standard class, there can be anywhere between 20 to 40 students and a single teacher who is burdened with the duty of managing all papers and assignments.
Teachers must spend hours on mindlessly correcting questions, organizing assignments, and recording countless amounts of grades, taking away time for more valuable activities that might be more advantageous for students. However, a teacher’s aide easily solves this issue by providing a hand with tedious tasks that do not specifically require the teacher’s attention, enhancing both the students’ and teachers’ experiences in the classroom.
Students choose to enroll in teacher’s aide courses under a variety of different circumstances, whether it be to fill gaps in schedules, raise GPAs, or help a favorite teacher and be in their class for an extra year. Some students simply have yet to find their niche, while others have concluded that they do not mold into one of the school’s array of electives. But instead of regrettably enrolling in an extra class that captures none of the student’s interests, they can opt for being a teacher’s aide without having any particular skill.
Having a teacher’s aide period has a reputation of being a relaxing, free class period where students are allowed to do as they please. What many fail to recognize is that it is an actual course, and a legitimate grade is given at the end of each semester. Although it does not compare to the rigorous class work given in academic courses and many use it as a method to raise their GPAs, it is still possible to receive a low grade. Even if it mostly involves running errands, work is still required, and despite what many think, slacking off is not a part of the class.
Though experiencing a year of being a teacher’s aide is not particularly academically beneficial, it can broaden students’ views on many aspects of the classroom. They have the opportunity to judge teachers as average people, rather than be under the bias of the workload and difficulty of the class. Students also have a chance to connect with teachers from a different point of view, after being exposed to the work that teachers put their energy into outside of their time in class. Despite the absence of academic work, teacher’s aide courses do hold educational value for students.
Students often see the classroom in a one-sided manner, but being a teacher’s aide can expose them to different view of their peers and the classroom. They are able to see the grades and workload of the students through the teacher’s point of view, which the majority of students rarely get to do.
A teacher’s aide is by no means mandatory to have in a classroom, but they do have the possibility to improve upon a classroom as a whole. Giving students the option of taking a teacher’s aide period is in no way fruitless, and should be maintained for the benefit of both teachers and students in the classroom.