Teaching Assistant Experience

 In this article I would like to share my wonderful experiences as a teaching assistant (TA) in Xiamen University. During my 4 years (from 2012 until 2016) at Xiamen University I have been TA of three graduate courses: Business Statistics, Mathematics for Economics and Financial Economics. It has been a great experience so far. My experience as a TA has been an outstanding way to learn different ways of teaching and to have a positive influence on many students. Also, it has shaped part of my character and changed my view on teaching. Being a TA for international students gives me the opportunity to meet students from all around the world and this allows me to experience different cultures and traditions.
One of the unique aspects of being a TA is acting as a key link between professor and students. This gives me the opportunity to observe and influence decisions about course design and content, as well as the opportunity to maintain daily close interactions with students.
In my opinion, an effective teaching-learning process between a teacher and his students can be achieved when both parties are actively engaged. As a TA, I organize my teaching materials in accordance to the background, the goals and the needs of the students attending my class. It is important to be able to explain complicated things clearly, develop interesting examples, and listen carefully as students ask questions or try to explain their confusion.
The TA position provides me with an invaluable opportunity to connect with and support other students.  Additionally, I have gained personal benefits including building strong interpersonal and public speaking techniques, gaining valuable teaching experience, and developing relationships with other TAs and instructors.  
As a TA, my duties include taking attendance, grading papers, proctoring exams, giving review lectures, and holding office hours. Additionally, I maintain regular and positive interactions with the professor and provide feedback about how the course is going, from the students’ perspectives as well as my own. The most difficult part of the job is grading papers because, on one hand, I want everyone to do very well but, on the other hand, I must be fair to everyone. Another challenging thing about the job is trying to help every student.
Finally, as a TA, I have gained more confidence and self-dependence through the years. And patience,  lots of patience. I have enjoyed the process of being TA. It has given me the opportunity to add to my experiences and helped me refine my own teaching style. Moreover, it has given me an opportunity to contribute back to Xiamen University.

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