TA Reflection

I just finished my first solo-TA experience of CSE 231. I’m still shaking.

I wanted to start out the class with sharing names and a bit of information, but everyone was sitting in front of their computers typing away and ignoring the people around them. There’s no room in the class to step away from the computers and have a circle of discussion time. Maybe I will take them to the atrium down the hall for a few minutes next week and we will share names. I have to ask Rich if that is okay. I think that a room where you know your fellow students is more welcoming, and breaking the ice (even for a lab section) could be really useful.

As for the material we covered today, it can be found here. The students basically just had to log in to their Engineering accounts, make a simple Python hello world script, and explore various other extemporaneous aspects of the class – like using Handin, finding the Python Documentation, etc. It was pretty easy and went really well. No one had any trouble, with the exception of three students who joined the class late and therefore didn’t have Handin accounts created yet. Must look into that.

Mainly, I want to note that of the 30-odd students in the class, all but two of them were male! At first, when we didn’t have any girls in the room, I was worried that there weren’t going to be any women at all, other than me. I’m relieved that we at least have a couple… But seriously??? Where are the rest of the women? No I want to know the overall percentages of male/female participants for the course. I must email Rich and find out.

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