My Experience as an Interactive Teacher
Jake Lewis is a fourth-year Bachelor of Commerce student with a concentration in Finance.
In my third year I was fortunate to have the opportunity to be an Interactive Teacher for the Sprott School of Business as part of a course on Training and Development. In my role as a teacher I taught a second year course, set and graded assignments, and helped students work to achieve their potential if they struggled. With the exception of setting the curriculum, I was, in effect, a professor.
This experience was one of the most formative of my University years. Having the opportunity to share knowledge on a topic I was passionate about and to generate that same passion in my students was a genuine pleasure. As a teacher you have to be prepared to adapt your teaching plan on the fly and jump on moments that are most apt to create the desired learning effect. In addition to the presentation abilities needed to run a class, that adaptability was a key learning experience for me.
I also gained a greater appreciation for the requirements and responsibilities placed on professors not just by the faculties but by students. As a teacher I found it necessary to find ways to relate to students in order to encourage participation in lessons while also having to affirm my role as authoritarian in the room. Grading papers was also a unique experience – everyone feels at one point that they’ve written “the perfect paper” but in my time as a teacher I came across only one paper that I thought so concretely encapsulated the goals of the assignment that such a grade could be justified. Evaluating papers both in comparison to curriculum goals and to subjective evaluation was an exercise in judgement unlikely to be experience anywhere else in University.
I had the great pleasure to work closely with two of my peers in this role and can comfortably say that their help both as fellow teachers and as colleagues in my program was invaluable in shaping my patterns of actions and strategies towards teaching. The mutual support and secondary opinions were crucial in enabling us to gain greater understanding of our students and in affirming our evaluation of their abilities.
Being an Interactive Teacher has been by far the highlight of my University career to date and will undoubtedly be an experience that I look back on with fondness for the bonds made, skills developed, and lives impacted in my role.