TA courses: SHOULD THEY BE DROPPED? PRO

New state law questions value of classes without educational content.

Becoming a teacher’s aide is an option many choose in high school, whether it be to fill up class space or to help out a favorite teacher. However, the Alhambra Unified School District cut these classes from its curriculum, citing a lack of educational content as demanded by AB-1012, a new bill signed into law in California. Frankly, more schools should follow in its footsteps.

Proponents of keeping TA classes as an option claim that such assignments allow students to relax during the day. This may be true, as many teachers seem to forget that they have TAs, letting some sleep or play games on their phones while others complete homework assignments during the hour.

However, this is all essentially wasted time; students are not being productive and are instead doing activities they could be doing at home. If one wants a TA period simply to catch up on math homework, why not just take five periods a day and go home early to finish it up? Schools are not the place for relaxing, and the school administrators who allow students to waste their time as TAs are at fault.

Some teachers may give their TAs actual work to complete, but menial tasks such as passing out papers and stapling do not warrant using up an hour of a student’s time each day. 56 minutes is a lot of time, and educators should promote broadening a student’s horizons instead of asking them to input grades or stamp homework assignments.

Government-run public schools should not be wasting student time with frivolous classes and instead should be encouraging students to reach for new academic heights. The entire point of school is to learn, and by giving students the choice to enroll in a class with little to no educational value, school and district officials are directly, negatively impacting students and their futures.

Given the wide variety of courses on campus, ranging from APs to unique courses like Administration of Justice, TAs could spend their time exploring different career fields, such as policing or forensics. Academic-wise, those who feel unable to take on the rigors of an AP or Honors course always have the option of taking regular classes or a Regional Occupational course, of which there will be four new ones next year. These will allow students to gain a head start in career fields they may be considering instead of twiddling their thumbs in a TA period.

While there may be a number of students who choose to become TAs in order to assist their favorite teachers, this is not a valid reason to become a TA. Just because a few students enjoy their teacher’s company does not justify allowing them to waste a period each day. To put it bluntly, administrators should value student education more than student-teacher bonds for the simple reason that learning is more important.

The choice of becoming a TA in high school is old-fashioned and no longer fills a role in the high school curriculum, and therefore should be eliminated because it accomplishes nothing except wasting students’ time and effort.