Engineering T.A. Learns Along With Her Students
Award Winner Says Teaching Has Taught Her Some Important Skills
June 25, 2009After getting off to a rocky start (it took her 20 hours to grade her first 60 papers) Lisha Kachhadia gradually got the hang of being a teaching assistant – and then some. Her students recently voted her the best electrical engineering T.A. of the year.
“The thing I like best about teaching is being able to actually give a student knowledge, to give them something that I have,” she said. “But great teaching is a learned skill, which is what graduate students discover when they first enter the classroom as teaching assistants.”
Kachhadia is pursuing a master’s degree in electrical engineering and expects to graduate in December. And although her students’ progress has been her primary concern as a T.A., she’s gotten a lot out of the experience as well, she said.
“First of all it taught me the value of time management since I was always struggling to find more time,” she said. “The experience was sometimes stressful, too. But the experience taught me some very important interpersonal skills and added to my technical acumen. I have been a TA for many different courses under different professors, and the best part is being able to teach the students and learn a lot while doing so.”
And the professors for whom she has been a teaching assistant are as complimentary about her as the students who voted for her.
“Lisha is a professional who spends a lot of her time making sure students understand the concepts dealt with in a given class,” according to Vojin Oklobdzija, a research professor of electrical engineering. “She also helped with the lab and dedicated a lot of her time to students beyond what is required of a T.A.”
After graduation she plans to work as an analog/mixed signal design engineer for a semiconductor company.
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