By: Mac Williams
May 5, 2018 was one of the proudest days of my life. I became one of the few people in my family to possess a college degree when I graduated from the University of Findlay in public relations. At the time, I was torn between the idea of going to graduate school and starting my career. I had always thought about teaching in some capacity and graduate school was something that I always wanted to do. However, I also realized that having a career right away would allow me to start riding myself of college debt.
After speaking with several people on both sides of my decision I decided to apply for a teaching assistantship (TA) at the University of Findlay in the department of communication. Fortunately, I was accepted and awarded the opportunity to teach COMM110, the department’s introductory speech class for the 2018-2019 school year.
This wonderful opportunity has allowed me to both experience teaching for the first time, and pursue my graduate degree in the Master of Arts in Professional Communication (MAPC) program at the University of Findlay. Going into this year I do not know what to expect.
So far, being a TA has taken up a large chunk of time. Preparing for class as well as drafting various aspects of the course has been challenging. Learning to manage my time is absolutely a necessity. In addition to teaching Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I am also taking seven credit hours in the MAPC program. While everything can be hectic at times, I would not trade it for anything. I am so blessed to be able to both teach students the value of public speaking and the role communication plays in everyday life, as well as further my education.
The only thing that has unsettled me is knowing that most of my students are only three to four years younger than me. It is certainly a shock to know that some of my students may have been an undergraduate when I was.
If there is one thing that I have learned it is that our educators are extremely underrated and undervalued. They spend hours and hours preparing for classes that only last an hour or so, and often do so without a thank you or a pat on the back. They sacrifice time at home with their families and give their all to students every single day. Although I am not a full-time teacher, I have definitely gained a new found respect for what they do every day.
Being a graduate student is not easy and neither is being a TA, but together they have given me the opportunity of a lifetime and an experience that cannot be matched. I am excited to see where this journey takes me and look forward to all of the bumps in the road along the way.