The Smoke Signal

Seeing the classroom through a different lens

Teacher's assistants act as a second pair of hands in the classroom

PV+senior+and+Honors+Computer+Science+TA+Sam+Pitkowsky+assists+a+peer+in+class.+
PV senior and Honors Computer Science TA Sam Pitkowsky assists a peer in class.

PV senior and Honors Computer Science TA Sam Pitkowsky assists a peer in class.

Victoria Donofrio

Victoria Donofrio

PV senior and Honors Computer Science TA Sam Pitkowsky assists a peer in class.

Kelsey Hagen, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Many PV seniors have the opportunity to see the classroom from a different viewpoint- as a teacher’s assistant.

PV computer science teacher Nancy Ricca thinks teachers’ assistants benefit immensely by taking on this role in the classroom.

“By helping other people, they [the teachers’ assistants] become stronger programmers,” Ricca said.

TA’s are normally seniors who have taken the particular class or subject on multiple levels. They can be found in classes such as Honors Research in Molecular Genetics Level I with Dr. Marlene Healey, Anatomy and Physiology with Ms. Alison Petaccia, and Honors Computer Science with Ms. Nancy Ricca.

This year, students were either asked to be TA’s by their teachers, or discussed the idea with their teacher.

Many TA’s commented that taking a class a second time as a teacher’s assistant helps them to learn new information and to learn the same information better.

“It’s almost like a recap of what we already learned, but by teaching them, it’s forcing us to learn the stuff better,” PV senior Justin Schaumberger said, a teacher’s assistant for the Honors Computer Science class.

TA’s also like taking on this role because it helps them see the classroom in a new way.

“I’ve never been able to see how other people learn, because it’s obviously just me, but now I get to see how all these new students learn in different ways,” PV senior Sam Pitkowsky said, another TA to the Honors Computer Science class.

Ms. Nancy Ricca teaches Computer Science, Honors Computer Science, and AP Computer Science, and has six TA’s in her honors and AP classes. She has the students help her with a variety of tasks.

“Mainly, they [TA’s] help students with their questions, their programs, sometimes they teach a mini-lesson on a concept,” Ricca said. “They help me grade assessments sometimes, they help me come up with questions for homework assignments and for quiz assignments, and then they also do a project on their own involving an advanced topic.”

Ricca also says the TA’s help give students one-on-one help, which is beneficial since the classes tend to be very large.

“Since there’s only one of me, now I have three of me that can go around and give the individual help that is needed when they’re programming,” Ricca said.

Being a TA is also beneficial for the TA’s themselves as they can become stronger programmers by helping others learn.

Petaccia has one teacher’s assistant in her Anatomy and Physiology Class, PV senior Megan Thorn.

“In anatomy, my TA serves as a second set of hands, as well as a support system for the class, where she works with the students in addition to what I’m already doing,” Pettacia said. “So at times, she may go around while I’m teaching and assist with the students’ learning process.”

Petaccia said that for her Anatomy TA, it’s as if she gets two years of the curriculum, providing her with the ability to learn the information another time so that she can recall and remember it a lot more.

Thorn also sees the benefits she gets from the class.

“I host review sessions for the class, so I have to know the information… so it’s good for me to get to study it and reteach it to me, so that’s really helpful,” Thorn said.

Petaccia also likes being able to talk with her teacher’s assistants to see which lessons worked, and which lessons didn’t work.

“That helps me develop my lessons and alter what I’m learning, so that it best connects with this year’s student body,” Petaccia said.

Petaccia thinks that being a teacher’s assistant is especially beneficial to those that want to work in the classroom in the future.

“If this is something that they’re considering pursuing, I think trying to immerse them into a setting where it’s very similar to what they would see if they were a teacher, they’re able to get that internship-like experience,” Petaccia said.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Writer
Kelsey Hagen, Staff Writer

This is sophomore Kelsey Hagen’s second year working on The Smoke Signal. She works on stories for the site as well as other platforms of The Smoke Signal.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Leave a Comment

Both first and last name must be included in order for your comment to be approved.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Seeing the classroom through a different lens

    PV Life

    The Road Unknown

  • Seeing the classroom through a different lens

    PV Life

    ValleyChat: “Psycho” Review

  • Seeing the classroom through a different lens

    PV Life

    Behind the Badge

  • Seeing the classroom through a different lens

    PV Life

    September 2018 Valley Cup highlights

  • Seeing the classroom through a different lens

    News

    From garden to classroom

  • Seeing the classroom through a different lens

    PV Life

    British native among new teachers at PV

  • Seeing the classroom through a different lens

    PV Life

    Welcome back!

  • Seeing the classroom through a different lens

    PV Life

    ‘I’ve had a great run’

  • Seeing the classroom through a different lens

    PV Life

    Senior Prom Slideshow 2018

  • Seeing the classroom through a different lens

    PV Life

    PV students participate in Spanish Exchange Program

Pascack Valley High School's Official News Site: Where there's smoke, there's fire.
Seeing the classroom through a different lens