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Weekly Reflection X

Robert Haynes 102988536


This week my mentees got their midterms back. As both TA and mentor for my
course, I was responsible for marking their midterms. Many of the readings from the
mentorship and learning textbook surround the distinction between being a TA or a mentor.
Up to this point in the semester I have had no trouble separating the two rolls; I have been
marking short assignments outside of class, and performing as a mentor in class. This week
also featured the lecture that I got to give (as reciprocation for the one that Austin got to do
while I was away with University Chamber Choir performing at OMEA). All four of the
students who failed the midterm were my mentees. The week where I get to step into the role
of the professor was also the week where I experience the greatest setback as both a mentor
and a TA.
I know that the textbook, and also the lectures for mentorship and learning, stress that
the grades your students receive are not a reflection of your efficacy as a mentor; but it is
virtually impossible not to take this as a personal blow. I cant help but think that in my
attempts to acknowledge different learning styles I may have discounted the importance of
taking notes on the readings. It was evident during the marking process that the students who
did poorly had very obviously not done the readings. I can read many things once, and
remember it in great detail, as a result I very rarely take notes while doing course readings; I
felt disingenuous telling students that they should be taking extensive notes on their readings
when I dont need to. In one half of my brain I can hear Dr. Bick stressing the importance of
the readings, and that students should be taking extensive notes on their readings; but the
other half (the insecure half) just keeps telling me that its my fault.

As a mentor I want all of my students to receive an A+, because I see how hard they
work and how invested they are in the material; but as a TA I can only give out marks when
they demonstrate that they are assimilating (we are the Borg) the material. On both levels I
want everyone to be right all the time; its an extension of my desire to talk about cool music
with people, but I cant help them if they dont do the work and Im having trouble coming to
grips with that reality.