Becoming a Soc 119 TA

Throughout the semester we will be inviting people to pass through the first floor of Pond Lab for what we’re calling a “dip in the pond.” Essentially this is a fact-finding gathering held once per week throughout the semester in which the Soc 119 staff can get to know people who would like to become Soc 119 TAs and potential applicants can get a better sense of what being a TA is all about.

To register to attend A Dip in the Pond, click here.

If you are invited to become a Soc 119 TA, then you’ll be asked to attend what we are calling the “training blitz.” This is a three (3) day workshop in which you acquire/learn the essential skills for facilitating small groups — which is what you’ll be asked to do as a Soc 119 teaching assistant.

The “blitz” happens on the Thursday-Friday-Saturday immediately BEFORE classes begin each semester. You must attend all three days. If you are a dorm resident, then we can arrange for you to be allowed into your dorm earlier (at a nominal cost of $25 per night).

You receive one (1.0) credit of Soc 300 for participating in the blitz. You might attend the blitz and decide that TAing is not for you. Obviously we would prefer that this not happen — but if it does, then so be it. If you do go on to TA that next semester, then we’ll sign you up for three (3.0) more credits of Soc 300 for the semester in which you work as a TA.

TAing for Soc 119 is NOT a paid position but being a TA is generally less work than being in the Soc 119 class.

While you are co-facilitating three sections of Soc 119, you will continue with your training. The meeting days/times for this training is EITHER Tuesdays from 6:00-8:00pm. or Wednesdays from 6:00-8:00pm.

You MUST be available for one of them.

Both the blitz and the semester long Soc 300 class are not extensions of Soc 119; they are very different experiences and can be uncomfortable because they require people to take an inward journey. Whereas in Soc 119 you learn about culture and history and political systems, in Soc 300 you will learn more about interpersonal relations and yourself. This can be painstaking work, certainly, but it can also be enlightening. But for someone who needs lots of structure and clear answers or who is looking to take Soc 119-Part II, this is not the experience for you.

You will NOT receive an automatic “A” for your work in Soc 300. Your grade is based on your degree of responsibility and dependability in your work as a TA. We very much want everyone to earn an “A” for the course — and frankly MOST everyone does.

One final thing:

Facilitating discussion groups on race relations is not easy, and it is emotionally challenging. You must be ready to be confused and to feel things, as well as to explore your racial identity and other aspects of yourself more deeply.

~ It’s a good idea to talk to current and former TAs to get a better idea of what to expect if you are selected.

~ If you still feel inspired to join us in this work, we would love to have you apply.

We want applications from students of all cultures, faiths, sexual, and (especially) political orientations. The more diverse we are in ideologies, backgrounds, and experiences, the more we will have to teach one another.

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