During the new and returning Teaching Fellow training during the first weekend back on campus, we discussed techniques and strategies of being a successful TF. Over the course of the two day training, we covered how to use Tutor Trac, teach to multiple learning styles, remain ethical and ask good questions. Although there were a lot of highlights from the weekend, one of the major takeaways was the development of a Teaching Fellows Code of Ethics.
In looking to the Hippocratic Oath as our model, the new TFs developed there own code of ethics to confront and overcome common ethical dilemmas in TFs. Below is the set of guidelines for ethical behavior as a Teaching Fellow.
HWS Teaching Fellow Code of Ethics
- Be patient
- Stay focused and attentive
- Provide guidance and tools to succeed
- Respect student/professor confidentiality
- Don’t pretend to know the answer
- Sympathize with students
- Equal environment à Create a “safe space”
- Help all students
- Look at everything objectively
- Find the balance between helping too much and not at all.
Q: What has been your most rewarding moment as a TF?
A: “My most rewarding moment occurred when I was working with a student on a concept that was particularly difficult for her to grasp. We discussed it, used examples, drew on the board, took a break, and continued our attempts at fully grasping it. Finally, a light went off, and it all came together for her. She was able to explain it in her own words and provide a concept relevant to her life. It felt wonderful to know that I could be a part of helping her arrive at that place of understanding.”
Q: What is a method that you find particularly useful in helping students learn?
A: “I find that using the blackboard to map out concepts for students is most helpful. Whether we are simply writing a list or connecting ideas with pictures, the students I’m working with usually participate more actively in their learning. After doing so, I’ve noticed that students have an easier time explaining the psychological ideas in their own words.”
Amy is a senior Psychology TF who has eventual plans to do graduate work in psychology.