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Nobody wants to walk into class and find out that it is being taught by a TA (Teaching Assistant.)  Can’t the professor just cancel a class? But have you ever wondered what being a TA is actually like? Or a Writing Assistant? Or even a tutor at your school’s learning center?  Going to see a peer tutor doesn’t always seem like it would be helpful, but sometimes the people who were in your shoes only a few semesters ago can offer the best help and advice.  I’m a Writing Assistant at my school, and I help a professor grade her class’ writing assignments as well as help the students improve their writing skills and succeed in the class.  It is a great job, because not only do I get paid, but I get to help other students, and in turn, help myself as well.  If you’ve been considering trying to get involved as a tutor in some way, check out some of these potential perks of the job:

1. The Money

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first.  Many times, these positions as either a TA or an on-campus tutor are paid, depending of course on your school.  Doing work helping your fellow students can be rewarding in itself, but it doesn’t hurt to get a little monetary compensation, especially since these jobs can get to be really time consuming.

2. Building a Relationship With a Professor

Often, Professors choose former students who did well in the class and whom they liked to be their assistants.  After working with this professor professionally and as a student, they become someone who has a well-rounded perception of you, and knows you better than most other professors.  This makes them a great person to turn to when you need letters of recommendation.

3. Improving Your Own Skills

One thing I like about being a Writing Assistant is that while I am helping students figure out how they can improve their work, I am also learning what mistakes to avoid in my own papers.  Being the person who is reading other people’s work for errors can make you more aware of writing errors in general, and you will likely get better at proofreading your own work.  Im sure this applies to tutors in other disciplines as well.  Helping others can keep the information fresh in your own head.

4. Job Experience

This type of job can also look great on your resume.  Obviously any examples of employment are good, but something that involves you being trusted to help teach or advise others speaks about your character.  If a professor thought you would be a good hire as their TA, than prospective employers could infer that you are intelligent, responsible, and a leader.

Have you ever been a tutor or a TA?