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field notes for 3/21/13

Riley's picture

Since my field placement school is currently on spring vacation (and for the next week as well), I'm writing about my French teaching assistant work. 

A problem I keep encountering is a disconnect between what the professor (who is my supervisor, the teacher who is in charge of the lesson plans for all the French students at the intermediate level, for which I am a TA) expects students to get out of their TA sessions and what they are ready to do in TA sessions. What I mean by this is: how do you make the most of not being able to control the major lesson plan for students? How do you make their extra (mandatory) sessions meaningful in the context of their class when I don't really know what they are doing in class, and when they are in need of much more review than the professor thinks they are? When we have grammar lessons, (i.e. subjunctive) the professor gives us (the TAs) at least ten activities to do with the students...and when we start the first one, it becomes clear to met that nobody even knows the steps to take to conjugating a verb into the subjunctive. So we go really slowly through the first activity, going through the steps together as a group, and there are nine other activities for the group to do that we haven't gotten to yet.

I suppose the fact that I am attentive to their needs is the answer to these questions. I should really talk to the professor about it...but to be honest, we don't really talk as a group about the TA work we do. Another option could be talking to the other TAs about it to see what they have to say.