I thought I'll sit down to write on the first day of my teaching assistant-ship. But I hadn't done that even on the last day of my lab-work. But today Pink Floyd's 'learning to fly...' put me in a speculative mood and all those 'words I wanted to sit down and write' came gushing!
Yes it was a novel experience. Standing in front of the undergraduates, boasting about being a graduate student and their 'TA' for the term, striving to look smarter and most importantly elder than those who were well capable of intimidating me.... I enjoyed every bit of it! Spending three hours in the lab with six students, while they carry out the experiments did not sound like a very interesting idea initially. 'I don't really have a role to play' is what I thought. But in the first lab itself I was 'busy' solving doubts. The fact that I was able to guide them made me happy. I wanted to be able to answer any question directed towards me. I was being paid for that, I ought to have known everything, but I wanted to be perfect. Not because I had to prove myself superior, but because I was expected to be a facilitator. I actually saw myself looking for pragmatic approaches to solve the problems. I realized the significance of being 'prepared' before facing the students. And of course the realization of how challenging a teacher's job can be! And the cute guys in the lab.....!!!
All in all a great learning experience.