One of the many things that underclassmen look forward to at East is the opportunity to be a teacher assistant when they become a junior. TA positions grant students a chance to help a teacher with various classroom needs rather than taking an additional course.
Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors attended registration meetings last month. At these meetings, Mrs. Hubbard told the students there was a possibility TA periods were coming to an end.
In the past, a requirement for a junior to become a TA is to take an AP class. We interviewed Mr. Bass to find out more about the possible changes regarding TA positions. He told us that he would like to keep TAs on campus, but have the requirements increase, with TAs having a GPA of 3.o or higher.
What do students currently like about being a TA? For many, the time used in those periods is mainly for doing work that you would otherwise not have time to complete. Mattie Lakey (‘17) said that she was very upset at the possible cancellation of the TA program. She herself is a TA this year for Mrs. Walls. “It is a very important and helpful resource for me as well who have busy schedules.” Without it, Lakey says she is certain she would have been overwhelmed by the amount of schoolwork and homework.
Those are the same concerns upcoming juniors have as well. “I think TA periods are a good opportunity to do your work from other classes,” says Katie Stauffer (‘18). She plans to take one or two AP classes and she would like that extra time to work on as much work as she can during that period.
The problem Mr. Bass had with TA periods is that there was no accountability for attendance. Until just recently in January there was no standardized method for taking attendance because TAs did not appear on class rosters. Now, Success Academy was put in Powerschool to provide accountability, with teachers being required to take attendance for TAs regularly.
Before this took place, some TAs roamed free around campus with the excuse that they were “in their TA period.” This frustrated Mr. Bass very much and in one instance, he found some students at McDonald’s when they were supposed to be in their TA period!
Contrary to the statements made last month, Mr. Bass claims he has no intentions to end TA periods. All he would like is to have accountability for the students so the students actually go to class.