TAs receiving unjust criticism

Editor:

I wish to address Christopher Woyewodzic's letter ("Should have certification process for TAs," March 3), wherein he implies the education received from teaching assistants is less valuable than information presented by professors. His implication was the student receives less of an education from TAs than by professors. This implication is simply false. The fact is most TAs are strictly guided by professors in their assignments. Further, most TAs work harder at preparing for classes than do some professors.

A second point, often overlooked by students, is that it is the student's burden to learn, not the professor's or TA's responsibility to spoon feed the student. I must remind Mr. Woyewodzic that unlike high school, in an university environment the student must take the initiative to seek information and education. Many professors have office hours where no students come for help. If this is the case, it is apparent to the professor that the students are either understanding the material sufficiently or do not care to learn anything beyond that presented in class.

Finally, at this university, TAs are radically underpaid for the number of hours spent teaching and guiding students. As a TA, I have personally spent numerous hours helping students in my class beyond the hours I am paid to. I do this extra work not because I have to, but because I am personally committed to teaching and higher education. And from my personal observation, the six other TAs in my office make the same type of commitment.

So how about it, Christopher Woyewodzic─ take control of your education.

Terrance J. Dishongh

TA- Civil Engineering Engineering Mechanics

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