McKayla Pilla

Teacher assistants at Seminole High help teachers while gaining experience in an educational environment.

Adrian De Guzman, Reporter

Many students at Seminole High have a class with a teacher assistant, who helps the teacher by doing errands and other tasks for them. What isn’t mentioned about teacher assistants, though, is that it’s a huge learning experience for the students themselves, as it helps expose them to real-world work environments.

Mrs. Patti Boggs is in charge of assigning the teacher assistants and guiding them through the class. She says that being a teacher assistant isn’t just a free class; it teaches skills required for the workplace when students eventually end up in the labor force.

“My philosophy is [that] this is an opportunity for a student to have exposure to the real world,” says Boggs. “Where it’s not really about content knowledge, but about how do I, [the student] function as an adult in a world that’s constantly throwing challenges at me.”

Boggs tells the students who want to be teacher assistants that taking this responsibility will grant them many useful skills not explicitly taught in school. It gives the students the learning experience that one gains from a working environment, unattainable from just classroom studies.

Teacher assistant Heaven Meade says, “You actually feel engaged in what you’re doing, and you’re not doing classwork, and you get an I.D.”

Being a teacher assistant allows you to grow as a person, as well as in how you deal and interact with co-workers. Throughout the period, students interact with other teachers and teacher assistants, and they may encounter someone they don’t get along with. Learning to deal with these types of people is a key skill taught by this job.

Though the position requires work, students gain and learn much from it as well.
“This is not a ‘bird’ class,” says Boggs. “You will not fly through it. But I promise you, by the end of it, you will soar.”