Anna Cheng and Laura Cheetham are two teaching assistants, sponsored by the Excellence Fees Initiative.
Anna, who assists with a clinical interview and assessment course, comments that it’s been a really positive experience. “We (the professor and I) work together to find different resources for class, different videos that could be helpful for visual class material. I also ask the class for feedback on (the professor’s) teaching style and the course in general: a more honest, open dialogue,” explained Anna.
Being a teaching assistant has impacted Anna personally; often as a student in class, a student-professor relationship can feel distant. Instead, she gets to view everything through the professor’s perspective and see how much the professor cares about students and the class. Anna feels more connected, and has noticed a change in her attitude. She states, “We’re working together from the same field and growing and preparing together for our future clients, not just in a classroom setting.”
Anna says that she’s discovered she likes to research different materials and topics outside of class. Her knowledge isn’t limited to specific assignments; now she does investigative research on many interests. Anna points out that we can learn a lot outside of class, and we must!
Laura Cheetham, assisting with a family violence course, loves to advise and brainstorm with students. She also has mastered many aspects of Blackboard. Laura has newly been exposed to legal aspects of family violence, innovative literature, and has gained a human rights perspective on the issue.
Laura adds, “I like being able to be in a class I feel is really important. I think I’ve been introduced to a much more legal aspect, where as an undergrad I was exposed more to the psychological parts. I feel like I’m seeing the other side, which I feel is necessary for this field.” She’s gained knowledge regarding family court issues and a forensic psychologist’s role, like how to examine the case, whom to talk with, making sure to gather all perspectives before working on a case.
Anna and Laura help students learn, but both feel lucky that this experience enables them to be pupils too. For more information on becoming a teaching assistant, please email ExcellenceMA@jjay.cuny.edu.