During the Fall 2014 Semester, I had the privilege of being a Peer Teacher for The Immigrant Experience, Honors US Society Gen Ed. I worked with Professor Terry Halbert, who is a distinguished professor within Temple University’s Fox School of Business.
The Immigrant Experience is very different from the traditional classroom. As a Community Service Based Learning course, we required our students to participate in a variety of community service events within immigrant communities, in addition to written coursework.
As a Peer Teacher, I was responsible for overseeing the academic and extracurricular performance of 11 students. This task proved to be more challenging than I originally anticipated. In addition to helping students grasp the material presented by both Professor Halbert and guest speakers in the classroom, I became the point person for all problems, both logistical and experiential, with the community service aspect of the course. This required me to hold occasional office hours and meet with students one on one to help them make the most of their experiences, both inside and outside the classroom.
Behind the scenes, I worked with Professor Halbert during the summer leading up to the course to design the projects the students would undertake. This point of view gave me a new perspective of academia, and how difficult relaying a certain message to students actually is.
I am very grateful for the experience I had, and hope to be an agent for educational development in some capacity in the future.