Teachers Assistants: The Inside Scoop


Lucy Loes

Mr. Groess and his TA, Nelson Yeung, help students in the Math Resource Center.

Many students form connections with their teachers during high school, and want to continue to spend time with the teachers they work well with. For juniors and seniors, being a teacher’s assistant (TA) allows students to do just that. TA’s get an inside experience on what it means to be a teacher and a wide range of responsibilities.

TAs often help with anything from correcting and setting up classwork to stapling stacks of paper. “I think it changes with [the] teacher but it’s to help a teacher however they need. So for me, I use them to do a variety of stuff that I need done so like posters, cleaning up, getting supplies, kind of all the crazy stuff I do around school. They help me pull it off,” math teacher John Groess said.

Becoming a TA is fairly simple. Students just have to ask the teacher they would like to help out. Most students ask a teacher to assist in a subject they are interested in. “I would recommend finding a field that you’d like, a class that you like… [and] trying to be a TA for something that you’d enjoy,” TA Anne Marie Khoueir said.

For teachers, having a TA is important because it helps lighten their workload. It allows them more time to concentrate on the things that matter. “I think it’s nice to take things off my plate so that I can focus on other things… rather than me focusing on stapling papers together or making a poster or something like that, I can grade and focus more on the sensitive material,” Groess said.

Being a TA has many benefits; it provides students with half a credit, leadership skills, and opens their eyes to the field of education. “It’s an interesting experience because it definitely tells you more about what [teachers are] doing every day [and] just how much work they’re doing. It’s a great way to get some work experience for college applications, because it does sometimes entail tutoring students,” TA Milla Mirkovic said.

Because TAs normally go in before school or during their free period, the work does take away time that students could have used in other ways. “When you have homework, and then you also have TA work, that’s kind of annoying, because it’s like, ‘oh, I want my free period to do this, but I also have this obligation.’ But a lot of teachers are really accommodating,” TA Nelson Yeung said.

Due to the time commitment, becoming a TA helps students learn how to balance different workloads. “It really helps with time management, managing your workload, and prioritizing things,” Yeung said.