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Teaching Assistant in HS - where does this get listed in apps/on resume and is it meaningful?

GossamerWingsGossamerWings Registered User Posts: 1,559 Senior Member
edited December 2014 in Parents Forum
My D is a teaching assistant for a class at her high school. She gets credit for this and it appears on her schedule, but there is no grade for it. In her school, it is not easy to become a teaching assistant and few if any students do it (we have never met another), but I'm really not sure how meaningful this type of experience is when it comes to college apps (not sure if some schools have tons of kids doing this type of thing), and also, where one lists this type of experience (is it considering extracurricular?). She didn't really do this for college (she just has a strong interest in the subject and was asked to TA), but of course I'm wondering if it's considered meaningful when it comes to college apps, or no? Thanks for any input!
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Replies to: Teaching Assistant in HS - where does this get listed in apps/on resume and is it meaningful?

  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 22,605 Super Moderator
    edited December 2014
    How does she get credit with out a grade (even if the "grade" is P or CR)? If she is receiving HS credit for the TA, then it is not an EC I would be looking to your school profile. At my HS there are plenty of students who are TAs (they are granted credit for doing it; the TA is on their schedule, report card and transcript)
  • GossamerWingsGossamerWings Registered User Posts: 1,559 Senior Member
    edited December 2014
    I think it's a pass-fail thing - or maybe just credit without the grade. I guess it's similar to Band - how do people list that?

    What does the below sentence mean (from your post) - I think maybe there is a word missing so I can't decipher. Thanks!

    "If she is receiving HS credit for the TA, then it is not an EC I would be looking to your school profile."

    Sounds like it's not a super meaningful experience then, in your opinion? It takes up a school period for her and it is a fair amount of work, so it would be good to know that!!
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 76,042 Senior Member
    edited December 2014
    At our school...and all of the other schools in our area of your state, band is a course for credit. There is a credit given...and a grade. YMMV, of course.

    "If she is receiving HS credit for the TA, then it is not an EC I would be looking to your school profile."

    Sounds like it's not a super meaningful experience then, in your opinion? It takes up a school period for her and it is a fair amount of work, so it would be good to know that!!

    Not sure how you extrapolated that this poster thinks this is not a meaningful experience. She is simply said...check your school profile. You should,also,get a copy of your daughter's transcript to see if or how this is listed.
  • GossamerWingsGossamerWings Registered User Posts: 1,559 Senior Member
    edited December 2014
    I extrapolated that she didn't think it was meaningful from her other comment that lots of kids in her HS do it (so I assumed that meant it was nothing special) - not the above sentence, which I was having trouble deciphering!!

    School profile doesn't mention teaching assistants at all and there is currently no other TAs in the school at the moment so I guess it's just not done very often. Right now on our online grading system, it's listed as (Subject) Aide with no grade given, not even a P or F. Thanks again for the input!
  • AlfonsiaAlfonsia Registered User Posts: 825 Member
    I think it is a gap filler in my kid's school, he has a gap next semester and this is like as not what he will do to fill it rather than do an elective. If it were not the last ever semester I doubt it would have been allowed in his schedule. I am sure that there are way more productive ways to use his time but ces't la vie. Meaningful tutoring is done in the kid's spare time though.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 76,042 Senior Member
    What course is she TA for? Perhaps that teacher could be one who writes a letter of refernce and puts the TA info in that. Or perhaps the school counselor could mention it in the counselor recommendation.

    Or if your daughter is the only one to be doing this...it could be the subject of an essay.

    Lots,of ways to weave this into the college application.
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 22,605 Super Moderator
    edited December 2014
    I did not say that your D's wasn't meaningful, being a TA is just not as rare as you are making it out to be.

    You have stated that she is a teaching assistant, however, on the school grading it is listed as aide. On face being an "aide" can be anything; we have students who do school service as office aides making copies, sorting mail, etc.

    We have a teaching academy where students do teaching internships because they want to become teachers; some do them at the local elementary/middle school (one period daily usually scheduled first period so that they go straight to their site), while others are teaching interns in the building. They also meet for a seminar class, so the student actually receives 2 credits; one for the internship and one credit for the seminar. Both courses are listed as teaching seminar and teaching internship. I definitely write about students in the teaching academy, how long they have been doing it, what they do (elementary/middle, high school) and their experience (so also get recommendation letters from their cooperating teachers,who also write about the student's experience in the classroom).

    Yes, the teaching academy and teaching internships also described in our school profile. In my school, a grade and credit is also given for band.
  • GossamerWingsGossamerWings Registered User Posts: 1,559 Senior Member
    edited December 2014
    Thanks again for the input. Yes, it is listed as Aide, with the subject before it (e.g., "Biology Aide"), so it would be clear that it's a subject aide rather than an office aide.

    Our school doesn't have anything fancy like a teaching academy - that sounds pretty amazing. She wouldn't have time for an extra class like a seminar anyway - she only has one free period and has filled it with this aide assignment. I don't think there are other ways for kids interested in teaching to do something through our school like an internship - in fact, we don't have any opportunities for internships through our school for any type of career which is a shame. (I actually recently interviewed a kid whose high school had connections with a lab and so those interested in laboratory research could actually do it at a read lab...which I thought was a pretty amazing thing for a public HS to offer!)

    The teacher who asked her to assist with her class is also her teacher for another class, so she may be a good person to ask for a rec at some point - good suggestion @thumper1. Thanks again!

  • xiggixiggi Registered User Posts: 25,441 Senior Member
    edited December 2014
    I second Thumper's post about getting an ADDITIONAL LORs from the teacher who offered this "assistantship" as long as the teacher can fully describe the activities and responsibilities of the student. Fwiw, the quotations marks are no accident because I happen to think that the term TA is highly misplaced for a high school. Many students end up with service hours in filler classes and have to perform "aid" to teachers, admin, or librarian. I do NOT think it will have any meaningful impact in terms of academic evaluation but might offer an insight in terms of character and dedication. If the work is performed during class hours, it is not an EC but a different classroom activity. My sister and I had four years of such service and it did NOT show anywhere in our application as it was mandatory at our schools.

    People who read the application will not spend time deciphering what it might be. Again make sure the LOR is honest and descriptive, which is not a given.
  • JustOneDadJustOneDad Registered User Posts: 5,845 Senior Member
    I wonder how many students DO put "Audiovisual Volunteer Aide" on their college applications?

  • baktraxbaktrax Registered User Posts: 2,563 Senior Member
    edited December 2014
    What does your daughter actually do as a TA in high school? Where I went to school, students were often TAs to fill gaps in their schedules where there wasn't another class they could take, and it often just involved grading assignments or helping set up lab equipment or something. If she's just helping the teacher out by grading and other such work, then I don't know if I would consider it particularly meaningful, even if she's the only one in the school doing it. If she's teaching some of the material or helping tutor struggling students or other things like that, then I would consider it more meaningful, and perhaps, she could work it into an essay, especially if she's interested in teaching in the future.

    I would not consider it an extracurricular because she's doing it in school and receiving credit for it, and I wouldn't consider it anything like band, unless band is handled differently at your daughter's school. Most schools I know receive a grade for band, as well as school credit. When I was applying, I also listed marching band as an extracurricular, even though I also got credit for it, because we had several hours of practice outside of school (and during the summer) and had regular competitions that often included significant travel. We also paid dues, like you might if you were part of a gymnastics club or other such extracurricular sport. There were also positions of leadership that you could attain, some of which required extra training outside of school and practice. There were other bands at my high school that you could be in that did not include the fees, outside work, and competitions, and I would imagine those would not be listed as extracurriculars and would be considered just a class being taken for credit. You could still take band for credit (even marching band, although I think that was very rare) and not do the "extras," in which case it wouldn't be an extracurricular, in my opinion. Unless I'm missing something about what your daughter is doing as a TA, then I don't really think it counts as an extracurricular.

    I like the idea of having this teaching write a letter of rec for your daughter, particularly if she has also taught your daughter in other classes. She clearly thinks highly enough of your daughter to ask her to be a TA, and she can highlight that in your daughter's application.
  • epiphanyepiphany Registered User Posts: 8,574 Senior Member
    Agree with sybbie in that "being a TA is ...not ...rare." Agree also with others that the teacher associated with that could write primary or add'l LOR's.

    I know a student right now who believes that his T.A.-ship is a very significant edge for Elite (in this case, top 10) college admissions. I am of a different opinion.
  • GossamerWingsGossamerWings Registered User Posts: 1,559 Senior Member
    Thanks all. What she typically does is work with the class during "group work" time - so she goes around to the small groups and helps them...particularly the ones who may be struggling with the material. She also grades tests (not anything subjective, just when it's multiple choice or short answer) and writes things on the board while the teacher is teaching. Since she wants to be a teacher, she was excited about the prospect of doing this, but it does take up her one free period, which she used to use for homework (since, with after school activities, having some time to at least start homework in school can be good). Because her school has an open campus, kids who have free periods are not required to be on campus, so no filler classes are needed. She is loving the experience but I can see what you are saying about it not being too special. Still, it seems to be valuable to her...just don't quite know how to list it on a resume or in the application.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 76,042 Senior Member
    I still say..have the teacher include this in a LOR.
  • my-3-sonsmy-3-sons Registered User Posts: 2,943 Senior Member
    I agree that a descrption can be incorporated into the teacher or GC LOR. If it is included on the transcript, the student will not need to list it anywhere else.
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