Friday April 7, 2017 I interviewed my English TA, Kala Parker. I decided to interview her because she is still in graduate school, so her experience in college as an undergrad relates more with me. I learned a lot about Kala during this interview. I did not know she was so active on campus as a graduate student. Her advice to work on professionalism now hit hard with me. I feel like I need to work on my professionalism within emails to professors. I am the type of person that would rather talk in person than articulate an email, so I struggle with writing emails.
What do you do in addition to teaching?
Answer: "I am a full time student in a master program here at Clemson, help tutor at Robert Anderson Middle School, and work in the annual giving office on campus."
Why did you decide this career/position?
Answer: "It pays for education here at Clemson and gives stipend, so that my graduate school is paid for."
What was your major in college?
Answer: "Professional communication."
What do you like best about your job?
Answer: "Helping students develop their writing skills."
Did you always want to be in this career/position?
Answer: "When I was younger yes, but as I got older not really. I started realizing it takes a lot of emotional strength to be a teacher, but it does pay for my education here at Clemson."
What do you do for fun? Hobbies?
Answer: "Watch tv and movies. My favorite movie is Lord of the Rings and my favorite tv show is Two and a Half men. I also like to go to the movies, write, and spend time with my family and friends."
How do you balance home and work, and teaching vs. researching?
Answer: "I plan everything in a planner at the beginning of the week. If things don’t work out I re-plan. In this plan I prioritize what I need to get done each day/week."
What general advice would you give college students?
Answer: "Make sure you develop good time-management to reduce stress, take time out for yourself, and most importantly get rest, sleep, exercise, and eat a balanced meal."
What are your expectations for students in your classroom?
Answer: "To develop their writing skills, be able to make an argument within their writing, and to walk out with a more of an open mind about the world."
What are the most common mistakes that students make?
Answer: "The smallest errors: formatting, grammatical errors, and not following directions."
What should I be studying to be successful on assignments in this class?
Answer: "The Envision in Depth textbook and the PowerPoints on blackboard."
How do you define learning?
Answer: "The intake of knowledge and how to apply it in real life situations."
How do you define teaching?
Answer: "Imparting knowledge and guiding students in a direction that helps them understand new information and how to interpret it themselves."
What subject was most difficult for you as a college student and why?
Answer: " As an undergrad grad student I was a biology major at first, so I took molecular biology, chemistry, and physics. Basically science classes."
What non-academic skill do you think is the most important for college students?
Answer: "Public speaking- its horrible but very important- and being able to network with people."
What is the greatest non-academic skill that college students today lack?
Answer: "Professionalism: how to write emails to professors and potential job employers."
How can college students develop this skill at Clemson University?
Answer: "By attending workshops on campus and asking professors and graduate students about their experience."
As a college student, what element of professionalism did you struggle with the most?
Answer: " As an undergrad student I struggled with creating a good resume."