I am passionate about teaching. While many TA-ships are “grade and take attendance” positions, I always strive to provide as much assistance to student learning as possible. I attend all lectures, help to answer questions in class, lead lectures, produce a synopsis each day of what was covered, provide review sessions for each exam, weekly recitations, and other services. In the materials I produce, I don’t just regurgitate what was said in lecture. Instead, I provide additional examples, practice problems, and alternative explanations to help students to understand the concepts. A sample of the materials I produce for a given lecture can be found here: Synopsis 3-14-17.
Even when it comes to grading, I believe that feedback is a critical component to student learning. My students get explanations of what was done incorrectly and model answers, not just an X and a mysterious number of points deducted. Further, I am always willing to work with a student from any level of understanding to build up the skills necessary to do well in the course.
This dedication and belief in effective instruction is why I won the 2017 Rendig Fels Teaching Award, and why I was selected to be one of Vanderbilt’s few Grad Student Instructors for Summer 2018.