by Kinzey Schreiber, BGSU History Major
I loved being an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for the BGSU History Department. It was one of the best experiences I had at Bowling Green State University. It taught me to be adaptable and more open to listening to others rather than focusing on what I believe is best. The class I UTA’d for was Dr. Schocket’s History 2050: Early America, 1492-1877. Along with Dr. Schocket, I was lucky enough to work with an amazing Graduate Student, Brittany Von Kamp, who worked at the Graduate Teaching Assistant for the class. Working with both Dr. Schocket and Brittany was incredible. I enjoyed spending time with them both inside and outside of the classroom.
My desire to be a UTA started when I first came to the University in Fall 2017. In Spring 2018 I took Dr. Schocket’s HIST 4220: American Revolution Era, 1763-1789 class and I realized that I wanted to work him again. That opportunity was offered the following year when he, another peer, and I worked on an independent project which concluded in the publication of The Constitution Counted Free Women And Children – And It Mattered during this past summer. I think it is cool when you have professor that you click with and we clicked.
Going into my final semester, I told myself that I wanted to be more involved with the History Department and being a UTA for Dr. Schocket’s class has definitely given me that opportunity. The experience has been both challenging and rewarding. Outside of class, I primarily worked on the class discussion platform, Perusall. Initially I found this extremely challenging as it took me time to find my pace within the system as well as the learning curve of the class. However, as the semester comes to a close, I am able to reflect how accomplishing the platform was because I was able to see the students’ growth and it felt as if I was learning with the students too. Working in the classroom complements this as it was amazing to see the different insights of the students.
One of the more challenging things about being a UTA was finding a mentor-mentee balance with the students. Going into this experience I had this idea that my email inbox and office hours were going to be full of students who needed my assistance with the material, which I found out very quickly was not my reality. And that is OK! In this, having Dr. Schocket and Brittany there to guide and teach from experience was something I appreciated as it allowed me to further understand my role as a UTA.
I would recommend this position to any Undergraduate who wants to gain experience with their department both inside and outside of the classroom. Being a UTA has brought me closer to the Faculty and Staff at the History Department in more ways that I could have ever asked for and I am truly thankful for that.