Top Social

Living in TA World

May 14, 2014
According to Teaching Assistant entry in Wikipedia, teaching assistant (TA) is an individual who assists a professor or teacher with instructional responsibilities. 
I have been a teaching assistant for almost two years and I’ll let you know how living in TA world looks like. 

As we all know, graduate students are underpaid workers. Although they work 24/7 instead of 9 to 5, like normal workers, they are paid considerably less amount of money. Then again, who cares about money when you are pursuing knowledge right? Yes, it’s a sarcasm.
This condition is compounded by the responsibility to be a teaching assistant, especially for those with scholarship. Not been able to do anything to those in higher positions, graduate teaching assistants let their frustration out to the undergraduates.
We, teaching assistants, usually think of undergraduate students as ignorant b*******, who don’t give a f*** about anything. They don’t know how to use a thermometer (for god sake, it’s a THERMOMETER! You just see and look at the number!), they rarely come to the problem solving sessions yet blaming us for bad score in exams, they cheat as if we don’t have eyes to see, they don’t know how to use calculator (press the button, it’s right in front of you!), and the worst is they act as if they know everything. They are even worse than my siblings!
Yeah, that is the story that you usually hear from TAs, but that is more to the story. Arrogance of TA is addressed toward undergrads, but not limited to it. Among the TAs themselves, the hierarchy is to be respected.
It’s not unusual to be a Phd student for more than the assigned time. Some even reach the extreme and have a successful 10 years carrier as doctorate students. Those students are not to be played with. You have to be strong against the undergrads, but if you happen to be proctoring exam together with your senior, well, you better lower your head and follow his/her instructions.
The longer s/he has spent in his/her graduate studies, the more respect should s/he gets. Moreover, they are always true. They are like lecturer, without “Prof.” before their names.
That’s pretty much how life inside TA world is. You may be tempted by the power you get if you stay longer, but don’t be. It is better to get out as soon as possible before the dark force gets you.
Post Comment
Post a Comment