|Management, Information Technology and Language|
|University of Newcastle Upon Tyne|
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A day in the life of a Teaching Assistant in the United Kingdom
What I do
My job is spent teaching undergraduate students 75% of the time. This involves planning and preparing lectures, ensuring they have the right resources, setting assignments, marking assessments, feedback, marking exams and supervising students. The other 25% of my time is spent researching - currently researching my PhD. So, I research literature that is out there already, as well as study my own agenda.
Every day in my job is different. My duties in regards to teaching go beyond simply being a teacher, into pastoral care. I am responsible for the students' progress on my course, and any issues they have both in terms of their course and in their life outside too.
Skills I use and how I developed them
BA (Hons) degree
My undergraduate course helped in every aspect as I teach my students and conduct my research based on what I was taught at York.
Managerial skills through working as a manager.
What I like most
I most like the interaction in my job, and more importantly the fact that I have the opportunity to inspire people. Seeing a student struggle with something, spending some time with them, then seeing them reach their potential is a really good feeling. Motivating students and encouraging them is the thing I really enjoy.
On the other side, research, I enjoy studying the things which interest me. Unlike an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, I get the opportunity to research and study what I like and what I am most interested in. If I don't enjoy an area, I don't have to study it.
What I like least
I least like the administration. Like any other job, this takes up time. Marking can be fairly boring, as can planning lectures (although delivering them is a favorite part of my job).
Apart from that, there really isn't anything I don't enjoy about my job.
What would I change? I would not change anything. The path that I have taken has led me to where I am today. If I was very fussy, then I may have taken a year out after completing my Masters and before going on to my current job and PhD. However, if I had have done that, I feel that I would not have been as motivated to get back up again.
Courses taken since graduation
Certificate of Advanced Academic Practice, Postgrad Research Methods
Where I hope to be in 5 years
Promotion to a full time lecturer; become research active. I hope to inspire others and students through my job.
My advice to students considering work
Firstly, never make concrete plans because they never happen. However, saying that, you are in a much stronger position if you do have some sort of plan of where you want to go after leaving York. Just, be aware, it will probably change.
Make the most of York. York has excellent status, and anyone who asks me where I went to university always starts listening when I say York. Make the most of the contacts you have through York. The York name will inevitably carry you far.
Although the "real world" may seem daunting, and you have been used to a small "bubble" which has been York for 3/4 years, it's really not that scary. You may be worried you lose your friends - you will never lose the friends you make at York, no matter how far away they are. York gives you a great basis from which you can move into the real world, and prepares you for that transition. It's honestly not as scary as you think.
If you like the look of Emma’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Emma a message to find out more about their career journey.