Как известно, одной из форм финансирования, предлагаемых ВУЗом в США аспиранту, является graduate teaching assistantship. Это особенно актуально для гуманитарных специальностей. Зачастую, одним из основных требований приемной комиссии, рассматривающих потенциальных ассистентов преподавателей, является наличие написанного Statement for Graduate Teaching Assistantship.
В процессе поступления написания данного эссе, вы можете столкнуться с некоторыми трудностям, а именно отсутствие в Интернете примеров данного Statement. К написанию данного эссе стоит отнестись также серьезно, как и к написанию обычного Statement of purpose, потому хорошо написанное эссе увеличит ваши шансы получение teaching assistantship. Вот несколько советов, основанных на моем опыте, о том, как писать такое эссе.
1) Ознакомьтесь с требованиями написания GTA Statement (если они указаны). Например, на сайте моего университета значилось следующее:
«Please attach a 1-2 page statement, which outlines any experiences and preparation that will allow you to succeed as a graduate assistant teaching in our English composition program. Since it is possible that several reviewers of this application will not see you departmental admission file, this Statement for Graduate Assistantship Application will serve to:
1) illustrate your writing skills.
2) identify any specific professional experiences or preparation that will enable you to succeed in teaching English composition (you may include any teaching experiences, tutoring, dorm counseling, writing, editing, or any other work that you think will prepare you to teach English composition), and
3) articulate the relationship you see between your work as a teaching assistant and your professional goals as a student in one of our graduate English programs».
2) Составьте подробный план написания данного эссе на черновике. Мое эссе, например, состояло из следующих частей:
a) Introduction (what made me choose my major, why I am interested in learning languages)
b) Main body
b.1 Academic background
b.2 Teaching experience
b.3 Teaching philosophy (what does it mean for me to teach, what methods I use in my teaching etc). Здесь можно погуглить и посмотреть, о чем студенты и профессора пишут в своих teaching philosophies.
c) Conclusion (why I want to become a teaching assistant; connection between my research and my being a teaching assistant)
3) Некоторые части вашего Statement of purpose могут быть перенесены и в Statement for GTA, например начало и заключение. Но здесь лучше не использовать всеми известный метод «копировать-вставить», а попытаться перефразировать свои мысли.
4) Не нужно писать огромных опусов. Придерживайтесь объема 1-2 страницы.
5) Если вы никогда не преподавали и не имеете опыта работы учителем/преподавателем, не отчаивайтесь. Вместо пункта teaching experience опишите ваш опыт работы с преподавателем, который произвел на вас впечатление. Напишите, почему вам было интересно на его/ее парах или занятиях; какие методы обучения вы бы применили в своем преподавании, будь вы учителем.
И напоследок, старайтесь писать грамотно и без ошибок, так как данное эссе демонстрирует ваше умение четко выражать свои мысли и быть последовательным в своих суждениях – это одни из основных качеств хорошего преподавателя.
Пример Statement for Graduate Teaching Assistantship
Language has always been a fascinating and a mysterious thing for me. I have never taken knowledge of any language – native or foreign- for granted, but have always considered it to be a privilege. A lot of people are proud of material values they accumulate and regard them as main achievements in life. I am proud of the fact that, at the age of twenty-four I have already been to the United States of America and Germany, and accrued a substantial cultural and linguistic experience, being able to speak English and German at the advanced level. However, to find out how languages are learnt and why it is difficult or easy for some to acquire the knowledge of a particular language has always been my major interest.
I graduated from Altay State Pedagogical Academy (former Barnaul State Pedagogical University) with a degree in Linguistics and methods of teaching foreign languages and cultures (English and German). Right before defending my diploma thesis, I began to teach English in one of the foreign language schools in my home city. I have experience teaching people of different levels (from beginner to intermediate), different ages (from school children to adults), and different professions (from unemployed to bank directors). One wise man said, «There are three professions from God: to heal, to judge and to teach”. I cannot but agree with it. For me a teacher is someone who does not only possess the basic knowledge of teaching methods and the subject itself, but who can also inspire, motivate and impact the lives and minds of students. These are the qualities I have always been looking for in my teachers. And these are the things I strive for in my teaching. I address individuals’ uniqueness as much as possible and consider teaching and learning foreign languages to be not isolated but interrelated processes which involve getting and giving knowledge from and to each other. Moreover, these processes imply mutual identity transformation of language learners as well as language teachers, and the opportunity to influence each other world views and beliefs.
To teach means to interact with the students, work in collaboration with them, stimulate curiosity and inquiry. Because I teach both in small groups and privately, I find out a lot about my students — their interests and hobbies, their professions and their schedules. I try to be always available for my students, should they have any questions or concerns. I greatly respect each student’s individuality and I’m always willing to listen to and address their questions.
Every language learner is valuable, so I use the principle of inclusiveness during the classes, and every learner is given a chance to express his or her opinion. Besides, I’m trying to create friendly atmosphere at my classes which encourages dialog and mutual exchange of ideas. Taking into consideration the level and age of my students, I use multitude of learning materials – books, newspaper articles, printable worksheet taken from the Internet, special computer programs for learning. Language can be and should be learnt from culture, thus I like using songs and movies at my classes. I try to adhere to the goals I have spelt out in my plan, but I know how to be flexible and make changes if necessary.
I believe that teaching is based on learning. I am constantly learning to improve my teaching. I am learning to deal with unusual students and I am trying to motivate and inspire them. I am learning to be patient when patience is needed and helpful when help is required.
It has always been my dream to do something useful for the community I live in. That is why, after my graduate studies in the USA, I am planning to come back to Russia. One of my career objectives is to get a teaching position at the Linguistic Institute in Barnaul to share the knowledge I gained and to make a difference in the lives of my students. I believe that being a teaching assistant while studying in the USA will be a great experience, giving me an invaluable insight into the lives of language learners and providing me with useful information that I can draw upon in future research and study. Being a teaching assistant will allow me not only to interact with people coming from a different culture, but also to understand the process of language acquisition. I believe that the position of a teaching assistant will deepen my knowledge of language acquisition and help me enhance the quality of my teaching. Teaching in a different country will present many individual challenges to me, which I will be excited to meet with consideration and understanding.