Student Assistants Give Teachers the Gift of More Time

Bailey Smith, Staff Reporter

Within the school, there are senior students who assist teachers all throughout the building. These students serve as teacher assistants (TAs), and they help to lessen the stress and work overload many teachers experience.

TAs typically do activities like checking teacher mailboxes, filling the copier with paper, making copies, constructing bulletin boards, and running errands around the school. 

Annette Manlief, English teacher, usually requests to have a TA each school year. “TAs are just such a support to a teacher, especially if you get a good one. That way you can just give them a task and they can perform it, and you don’t ever have to worry about it.”

Counselor Nick Maxwell is responsible for assigning TA placements. Mr. Maxwell begins by making TA assignments for the front office, counseling office, attendance office, and the library. TAs in the  front office and library have many responsibilities and play a vital role in the school. TAs check-in visitors, run errands for teachers, and help wherever they can. Once those essential TA slots are filled, he opens spots up for teachers.  This usually happens a week before school begins.

Sometimes, students have a certain teacher or office that they want to serve as a TA for.  Senior Lexie Little is one of these students.  Little reached out to Mrs. Manief to be her assigned dTA She said, “Both of my older sisters had her in the past, and I wanted to have her, but I didn’t get her for English, so this is one way I can be close to her like my sisters were. Being a TA, you get way closer with the teachers and administration.”

To become a TA, students have to be a rising senior with a 2.75 cumulative GPA or higher. No class credit is awarded for a TA hour.

If students are interested in a TA position, they need to plan their schedule carefully. Scheduling for the next school year will begin in January, so juniors this year need to think ahead. “If you’re going to be a senior next year, and you have that extra period to give up, and you want to help out or an extra time to do homework, which many TAs do, we could use some more TAs next year. You just need to make sure you have the GPA needed and let the teacher know that you want to TA for them and then when the email is sent out the teacher can make that request,” explained Maxwell

Having a lighter academic schedule is one benefit to students, but it is not the only one.  Maxwell also emphasized the relationships that can develop between a TA and a teacher.  He said, “get to know teachers really well, so as you’re applying for college as an example you might need a teacher recommendation. Someone that you’re serving as a teacher assistant for might have some insight that other teachers may not, so it may be worthwhile to look into,” stated Maxwell.