Teaching Assistantships: A Student Perspective

In honor of our all-registration issue, we’re including a bonus third installment about individualized learning experiences – a more recent interview with student Tonya Filz, who served as a teaching assistant for Introduction to Psychology.

1. Who did you work with for your teaching assistantship (TA)?

Dr. Gurung

2. How did you find out about the TA and go about getting it?

I had multiple TAs in other classes, but never really thought about applying for one. That is, until I was meeting with my advisor, Dr. Gurung. He was seeking TAs for a large lecture hall section of Introduction to Psychology with 250 students. At the time I was facing great uncertainty regarding future plans, and whether it would include graduate school or not. He suggested I apply for his final open TA position, which I ended up applying and subsequently being chosen to fill.

3. What kinds of things do you get to do for your TA?

The types of things you get to do for a TA vary with each faculty member that hosts TAs. In my teaching assistantship with Dr. Gurung, each TA was assigned a “pod” of 50 students to host review sessions for, and be the first contact point for questions and concerns about the course. Between the 5 TAs we reviewed in-class assignments, and took part in weekly meetings to discuss pedagogical issues in teaching such as making large lecture classes feel less like a large class, and more like a small class. Perhaps my favorite part of my TA came in the final week when each TA gave a lecture on a portion of the abnormal psychology section. I was terrified of speaking in front of so many students, and never considered myself a strong public speaker. However, I ended up receiving positive reviews and really enjoying lecturing. It was during the final week of class that I considered for the first time becoming a professor.

4. How do you think the TA relates to what you have learned in your classes?

I took Introduction to Psychology the first semester of my freshmen year, and completed my TA in the second semester of my junior year. By the time I completed my teaching assistantship, I had forgotten large amounts of what I learned in my own Introduction to Psychology course. It was extremely helpful for me not only to review the material, but also acquire a deep understanding of it to make sure I was able to explain it to my pod during review sessions. The depth of understanding I gained has helped me strengthen my foundation of psychology, which has led to greater ease of understanding more complex concepts that are presented in upper-level classes, as well as preparation for the GRE Psychology Subject Test.

5. How important has this TA been to your educational experience at UWGB, and why?

My TA shaped not only my educational experience at UWGB, but also my entire career goal. For my research project as a TA I was assigned to look at literature regarding specifically Undergraduate TAs. I became so fascinated by this material that I wanted to research this for my honor’s project; which over the next year I completed. The passion I first had for teaching quickly grew into a passion for researching a variety of topics. Since my TA I have had a 4.0 each semester, and am presently applying to Ph.D. programs in Clinical Psychology, in hopes of one day becoming a professor and being able to mentor undergraduates. In summary my TA experience made me a more confident, determined, and overall stronger student, and a more competitive applicant for graduate school. In fact, I have always said my TA was the first time I felt like a true psychology major, and not just a student.

March 31, 2011; Volume 5, Issue 6

It’s March, everyone – in fact, it’s almost April. We at the PF are looking forward to April and the notion of “April showers bring May flowers” because rain sounds a whole lot more pleasant than the 17+ inch snow storm March brought us. Sigh. Meanwhile, April also brings Fall registration, so we present for your reading enjoyment a news-filled issue that includes many must-have registration facts and tips. Read on!

Breaking News: Faculty Changes for 2011-12

Registration Tips: Understanding Priority Registration, Pre-Requisites, and Internet Courses

P/HD Club: A message from the President, Kaitlyn Florer

Psi Chi: A message from the President, Amanda Luedtke

Another Scholarship Available! Apply for the Fergus and Bonnie Hughes Scholarship

Career Tip of the Month: Choose Courses Wisely

Summer Classes and Summer Registration Reminder

Grad School Tip of the Month: Opportunity to Explore Graduate School

Recycling Registration Resources

Interested in a Research or Teaching Assistantship, Internship? Check Out the Department Want Ads

Good Student News

Did you Know…?

Breaking News: Faculty Changes for 2011-12

Careful readers of the Fall 2011 Schedule of Classes will notice some familiar names missing from the “instructor” column. There’s a good reason for this. After more than 30 years of distinguished service at UW-Green Bay, Dr. Lloyd Noppe will retire this summer, and although we will miss him greatly, we are also very happy for him and will celebrate his career with an in-depth profile in our year-end issue of the PF. Students should also know that Dr. Illene Noppe will be on sabbatical in Fall 2011 but will return to full-time teaching in Spring 2012. Dr. Regan Gurung will be on sabbatical for Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 but will rejoin us in Fall 2012. Our next issue will feature more information about the exciting plans for their sabbaticals, which should both result in fabulous information and experiences to share with students in future semesters. Please congratulate all of these wonderful faculty members when you see them!

Registration Tips: Understanding Priority Registration, Pre-Requisites, and Internet Courses

Keep reading for the most up-to-date tips on Fall 2011 registration!

Priority Registration
Our policy of priority registration for upper-level Human Development classes will continue this fall. That means that Human Development majors and minors (and for HUM DEV 331, 332, and 343 Psychology majors and minors, too!) will have first access to our classes during registration. You’ll notice these classes will say “Reserved” in the on-line schedule of classes. Don’t let that worry you – they are “reserved” for YOU!

Pre-Requisites and Internet Courses
We get a number of questions about pre-requisites at this time of year. If you are curious about pre-requisites for a class, click on the hyperlink for the course name in the on-line “Schedule of Classes” you can access on the UWGB website.

Note that things listed after “P:” are required to enroll (e.g., “P: HUM DEV 210” would mean HUM DEV 210 needed to be taken before you could enroll in this class).

On the other hand, things listed after “REC:” are recommended (e.g., it’s recommended that you take HUM DEV 331 before HUM DEV 332, but it’s not required). Classes might also have a pre-requisite that you have a certain major or a certain class year in order to register. Keep this in mind, especially if you look at Internet courses. Many of these are offered through Adult Degree and have as a pre-requisite a major in Interdisciplinary Studies, BAS-IST, or Nursing. You will get an error message if you try to enroll in one of those courses and are not a major in one of the above programs. These classes include Sections 183 ONLY of the following: PSYCH 102, HUM DEV 210, HUM DEV 331, HUM DEV 332, HUM DEV 343, HUM DEV 345, HUM DEV 346, and HUM DEV 424. Note that you can request special permission to enroll in these classes (from the instructor and Adult Degree), but not until some time after priority registration has ended. Additional fees may also apply because they are Internet classes, which carry an additional $60 fee and are not included in the “tuition plateau” for full-time students (i.e., have to pay separately for these classes beyond your full-time tuition).