Rewards of Being a TA

When I was offered an opportunity to TA for the semester, I hesitated for a little bit. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to effectively contribute my time to being a great TA. Honestly, I still don’t know if I’m a good TA. But recently I was able to see the difference I’ve made in some students this past week. At the beginning of the semester there was a student who was struggling, and at the time, it seemed like they wouldn’t be able to keep up with the pace of the course. Throughout the class I’ve kept a close eye on them, and I’m happy to say they’ve come a long way from where they started.

I remember how tired I would get when I heard my teachers in high school tell me that they do it for us, and not for the money. I mean, given today’s society, how could things really not be somewhat for the money? But after this week, my thoughts changed a little bit. I guess you can say that I was able to empathize, rather than just sympathize. To be able to make an impact on someone’s life and watch them grow into something amazing is absolutely incredible. It’s a feeling that I can’t articulate very well, but I’m happy to say that I’ve been able to be a part of that person’s growth.

One of my life goals is to be able to volunteer as a TA/teacher once I start working full time. I’ve been looking at programs and have decided to settle in to work for a little bit, then take time to familiarize myself with Austin’s education community. Afterwards, I have a few programs I am looking to apply to. So hopefully my teaching aspirations won’t die here. I remember in high school I said something about wanting to be a teacher. Looking back, I don’t think I could’ve done it. My mindset was too immature, but I’m glad that now CS has given me another opportunity. Hopefully I get to experience this feeling again one day.