A glimpse of the ASSET TALENT SEARCH PROGRAMME 2014, through the experiences of a Teacher Assistant – Anuron Mitra
My experience as an educator reached a peak in the summer of 2014, when I served as a Teaching Assistant to the Professor of Psychology during the Duke TIP Summer 2014 Program. The program, a summer three week learning course offered by Duke University, offered ten different courses to a 165 children chosen from across the country through the Asset Examinations. I served as the Teaching Assistant to the Professor who taught the Brain and Psychology course.
My work entailed helping my Professor draw up the syllabus that was to be taught to the children, along with brainstorming different teaching methods and educational activities. Furthermore, I also took a one hour evening class with the children, independent of my Professor.
My Professor and I focused on creating a syllabus that would be a holistic combination of textbook knowledge, multimedia dependent stimuli, and student centered activities. Furthermore, my Professor and I also made it a point to pay individual attention to each of the twenty students in our course.
The classes spanned the entire morning and afternoon, from 9 am to 4 pm. My evening hour was allotted from 7 pm to 8 pm. We structured the classes such that the morning session would entail a textbook based lesson, supported by multimedia tools such as PowerPoint presentations, followed by visual stimuli, usually an educational video pertaining to what was taught in the preceding lesson. The afternoon session was devoted to student centered activities such as debates, creating 3D models of the brain and other parts of the brain, quizzes and educational games.
For my evening classes, I would usually choose visual stimuli, such as an educational video or activity which would reinforce the morning’s lessons. The final fifteen minutes of the class I would devote only to discussion and clearing of doubts.
As a measure to assess the students, my Professor and I divided the students into groups and asked each one to work on a final project – the project was to include a physical 3D model along with a presentation. My Professor and I assessed each child individually and charted their progress.
The greatest takeaway for me from this experience was a discovery: that I have the ability to impart learning to eager, curious minds. The amount of satisfaction that was gained upon seeing the development of the students and the systematic increase in their knowledge was truly enriching. Discovering the educator in me and all that fun I had with kids was so energizing. Working with a very experienced Professor also allowed me to re-evaluate my own extent of knowledge about Psychology. All in all, the summer teaching experience was, and will remain, a very important milestone in my life.
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For more info on the programme click here: http://www.ei-india.com/asset_talent_search/
By Anuron Mitra – Student