Ambassador, parrot, cultural observer, news announcer, English helper–these are but a few of the pants I wear in my role as an English Teaching Assistant, or TA. More often than not, I find myself in situations that make me wonder if I’m living in the real world. All signs point to no.
To date, here are the most peculiar requests I’ve gotten from co-teachers:
1) Being asked to explain the “pimp” in “Pimp My Ride.”
2) Being asked to model how to successfully catch a Frisbee…and then getting socked in the mouth by said Frisbee.
3) Being asked to explain the history behind Guy Fawkes.
4) Being told that the school will not be fully bilingual until I hand-draw 18 signs translating “Computer Lab,” “Teacher’s Lounge,” etc. into English.
5) Being asked to comment on the sub-par recycling efforts of the American people.
6) Being asked to lead the students in pronouncing the word “SCREWS!” over and over until they said it correctly.
7) Being asked to talk about the Fourth of July on three separate occasions by the same teacher.
8) Being asked to translate Poe’s The Raven. For the very next class.
If you are or were a Teaching Assistant, what have been some of your strangest, most unexpected requests from teachers and staff?