If you’re a student you know the ropes; papers every week, lectures, seminars, readings, studying, exams. It’s a lot of work to keep on top of and if you don’t keep on top of it you can struggle with catching back up. However, students aren’t the only one’s that get swamped with work at Brock. Professors and TA’s live a life that is just as busy, between; giving lectures, performing research, leading seminars, conducting office hours, attending conferences and community work. Professors and TA’s are just as busy as students.
I sat down with Tim Dun, an Associate Professor of communication studies at Brock University to get an inside view of the life of a professor, along with what professors typically look for in students. To start, Professor Dun mentioned “only about 40% of the job is the courses” and went on to discuss how professors typically spend a large portion of their time attending conference to discuss their research and findings with other professors in an academic setting. Professor Dun also elaborated on what he does for his classes in terms of structure and presentation by saying “the content and how it is discussed may change depending on how past classes have done before”. Furthermore, he elaborated by mentioning that he constantly looks for a better way to review content with students to try and promote the best understanding of content for his students.
Lastly, I asked professor Dun if he had any tips for students as we approach exam time at Brock. Professor Dun started off by saying “I understand how people get stressed out by exams” and continued to suggest the sip approach to studying, “Studying is like working out, if you dedicate a small amount of time to yourself each week, you will be surprised at the progress”. Finally, Professor Dun finished the interview by wishing all students luck in their final exams.
Next, I interviewed a TA about what their work is like. The TA responded by saying, “Well, on an average day I have to prepare for seminars – making sure grades are given back to the students in a timely manner, photocopying and making sure I read for the classes. However, on top of preparing for seminars and grading every week, I have my own work to do. I am a student as well and I have course material to complete for my own program.”. After talking with this TA it was easy to see that, like students, TA’s have a lot of work to do as well here at the University.
I moved forward by asking the TA how they like working as a TA at Brock University, to which they responded with a very positive answer, “The moments when my students come to see me after classes or my office hours to tell that they get so much out of the seminars, or the moments when you can see that a student is getting a theory or an idea that they just learned – those are the most rewarding moments for me. I like to see students enjoying the material they are learning, and then I know that I am doing my job well.”.
After talking with professors and TA’s, it is clear to see that the busy life styles and schedules of both parties reflect the dedication made to students and education here at Brock University. I’m a proud badger, and happy to see that our mentors have such positive messages and outlooks towards our education.
Thanks for reading!