I like being able to get a student’s mind to click and figure something out when they are stuck.
- Quinn Lovette
Teaching assistants are not just for colleges and universities. Formally established four years ago, Latin has a robust upper school student TA program with 20 to 30 seniors participating each year.
The program spans all departments, according to Zach McArthur, Teaching Assistant Program Coordinator and Upper School Mathematics teacher. Students are chosen after applying, based on their interest and past performance in the course. Students receive a pass/fail in the Independent Study course.
TAs are not involved in grading but their roles vary depending on the class. Sarah Landis, an Upper School language teacher who teaches Latin, has found her TAs invaluable. Last year, with a larger class, she broke students into groups and the TA rotated among them, facilitating group work. “This year, with a smaller class, I’m having my TA lead more of the activities and he will be able to teach some of the lessons,” she said.
Leadership opportunities abound for TAs. Students are chosen after applying, based on their interest and past performance in the course. Students receive a pass/fail in the Independent Study course.
McArthur and Landis both agree the TA program is a win-win both for the students in the class as well as the TA. Landis recalled an instance where a student fondly remembered his TA. “The TA is more relatable to them and closer to their age, and someone closer to the experience of being a novice [with the material,]” she said. Landis notes that students sometimes feel less intimidation approaching a TA when they need assistance. “It’s someone who feels more accessible and relatable.”
Quinn Lovette is a TA for the Finance and Math class. Lovette was attracted to the program after taking the class last year. He likes working with students he might not normally meet. “Being a TA gives me the ability to work with younger students and get to know them,” said Lovette. Lovette also relishes those a-ha moments. “I like being able to get a student’s mind to click and figure something out when they are stuck.”
I wanted to share my excitement for the material with the next generation of Nazi Mind students.
- McLaine Leik
Leadership opportunities abound for TAs. Leo Romano is a TA for a sophomore English class, Latin American Literature, taught by Ann McGlinn. Romano is often called upon to lead class discussion, assist with group discussions and even helps edit papers. He acknowledged that serving as a TA is a lot of responsibility but it was something for which he was ready. “Ms. McGlinn trusts me and she guides me, obviously,” he said. Romano also is happy to help one of his favorite teachers and appreciates the bond they are establishing.
McLaine Leik is a TA for Nazi Mind, a one semester class that culminates with a simulation of a Nuremberg trial that takes place in a courtroom at the Daley Center. “That class fostered a passion for history for me,” said Leik, so much so that she plans to study history in college. Leik likes seeing the students become enthusiastic about the same subject matter that left such an impression on her. “I wanted to share my excitement for the material with the next generation of Nazi Mind students.”
- upper school