When I reflect back on my review session there are many things about it that I wish I could have changed. Overall, looking at it as a whole I was quite disappointed with how it went. I felt that the students really didn’t want to be there and as much as I tried to get them involved and engrossed in the review session they just weren’t having it. In a lot of ways I felt like this was the worst review session I have ever conducted. I am in a place where I can definitely say this because I have been a TA in the past. Last semester, I conducted 3 review sessions, and each of those review sessions I felt went reasonably well. There was one instance were I faced some difficulty with an older student but, I was able to command the situation and take charge. However, when it came to this review session that was unfortunately not the case. I had several students who were quite rude and argumentative. They outright took advantage of the fact that we were not in the regular classroom environment and that the review session was not being led by their typical teacher. I will admit that I face difficulties when it comes to discipline and being able to take charge of a situation, however, I do feel I am improving in this area. This one particular student, outright told me that he did not want to be at the review session and he felt that it was not helping him prepare for the exam. Upon hearing this, I was taken aback and didn’t really know how to approach the situation. I wanted to take in this comment as helpful criticism as to how this activity was clearly not helping him prepare for the exam, but at the same time I was offended and I will admit hurt at hearing his snide words. My fellow TA’s and I had spent several hours slaving over these review slides and to hear that he just thought that it was a waste of his time was a bit of a blow and quite the insult. However, I also recognized that he is a student who is paying for college and he does deserve the right to maximize his educational time. Needless to say it was quite the dilemma, and it thoroughly put me off track in terms of where I was in the PowerPoint review session.
There were also moments were I felt like I certainly wasn’t qualified to be up there putting on this review session. I tried to act like I was confident in the material but there are some elements to the material that no matter how many times I study and go over I still never quite feel secure with. For example, neuroscience, specifically the breakdown of the neuron. Even though I have my notes in front of me when I’m trying to explain it to students I just feel like an idiot, partly because this is my weakest area of psychology. Now, put me up there with explaining the criteria of Conduct Disorder in the DSM-IV TR and I’ll do just fine. But, the students don’t know that, and for that very reason I really felt like a huge failure with this review session. Overall, I was really disappointed with the way the students responded to the material and how it went in general. I really hope that the next review session goes more smoothly and manages to be a success.