New TA Q&A

CATEGORIES: Foundation Courses
Jorge Ambacher
Jorge Ambacher
Samuel Arthur
Samuel Arthur
Zack Bukovich
Zack Bukovich
Haley Greer
Haley Greer
Droste Hennings
Droste Hennings
Katie Painter
Katie Painter




















Jorge Ambacher, MA, ENGL
Samuel Arthur, MA, ENGL
Zack Bukovich, MFA, CWE
Haley Greer, PhD, RPC
Droste Hennings, MA, TESL
Katie Painter, MA, ENGL

What do you wish your students knew about you?

Jorge: One thing I wish my students knew about me is that I am passionate about writing creatively. I love writing poetry and short stories.
Samuel: that I can be very strict, and that beneath this cool, laughing teacher is also a very strict one.
Zack: I wish they knew that I also want them to get a good grade.
Haley: Something I want my students to know about me is I really prioritize cultivating a safe and open classroom environment. My wish is for students to feel comfortable voicing their thoughts and opinions to spark dialogue with their peers and I, so that we all may learn from each other.
Droste: I wish my students knew how much I value their feedback.
Katie: I wish my students knew how fun writing can be.

What one word would your students use to describe you?

Jorge: Passionate.
Samuel: Empathetic.
Zack: Considerate.
Haley: Compassionate.
Droste: Talkative.
Katie: Thoughtful. 

What’s something your students have taught you this semester?

Jorge: To embrace small moments of wonder in each class.
Samuel: The importance of listening. My students always want me to listen to them, and through that, I have learned a lot, not only academically but even on social issues.
Zack:  The power of listening and doing your best to meet people where they are.
Haley: Every semester my students teach me how to grow in creativity and design.
Droste: Building community takes one step at a time.
Katie: My students this semester have shown me how rewarding teaching can be.

What one teaching tool will we always find you with?

Jorge: My tattered composition notebook with notes for class.
Samuel: My Macbook. It is always with me because I’m always sketching and outlining ideas. I barely go anywhere without it. If you see me without my Mac, you can find my ENGL500 journal in my crossbody bag with a tiny pen with it, just in case an idea drops in the middle of nowhere.
Zack: Google Docs.
Haley: Definitely my laptop, it has everything on it from attendance to my lecture slides and other resources.
Droste: Google Slides.
Katie: You will always find me with my students’ writing journals, lugging them back and forth from my office to my classroom.

If you could share one sentence of advice with newer teachers, what would it be?

Jorge: Be passionate about who and what you teach–it’s a great responsibility.
Samuel: Be gentle on yourself, and trust your abilities, you need to understand that being a new TA can be very unsettling (especially if you are from a non-native context) but you will grow with time.
Zack: Be patient and allow yourself grace as you settle into your teaching routine.
Droste: Invite students to talk with their peers every day.
Haley: Students aren’t looking for a perfect instructor, they are looking for a human to listen to them and push them to be the best version of themselves.
Katie: My advice would be to find a TA buddy, or several, to lesson plan with. It can be difficult to generate a semester’s worth of activities for the first time (especially if you’re new to teaching) so swapping ideas with colleagues is a lifesaver.

What’s something you are passionate about (outside of ISUCOMM)?

Jorge: I have a strong passion for writing, but I am also passionate about all things Philadelphia sports.
Samuel: I am very passionate about critical theory and how to create concepts/theories to transform society. Also, I love helping people, watching and critiquing the Japanese Anime genre, reading my peers’ essays, and giving them feedback. If you have a paper or critical essay (on literature or critical theory), share it with me, and you will surely get some feedback.
Zack: Writing poems and eating Rinconcito.
Haley: I absolutely love basketball and am passionate about student athlete life in collegiate sports.
Droste: My wonderful cats, Auggie and Luna.
Katie: I am passionate about traveling.

What are you excited to teach in 150/250?

Jorge: I am excited to teach the research unit again. I enjoy witnessing how students convey their passion for a subject through their prose.
Samuel: I love all the units, but specifically the multimodal unit. It serves as an arena for learners to be creative and explore different media and how to use them. I also get the avenue to experiment with these media and explore their uses.
Zack: I love the multimodal design project.
Haley: I am always excited to teach multimodal projects to see ways students can create and communicate in various ways.
Droste: I enjoy the creativity from students in the multimodal units.
Katie: I have been excited to teach the multimodal units for both 150 and 250. It really allows students to show off their creative skills and to plan a project they’re excited about. 

What is your most frequently used emoji?

Jorge: 😩
Samuel: ​​🤣
Zack: 😎
Haley:  🫶
Droste: 😄
Katie: 🥹

If you had your own late-night talk show, who would you invite as your first guest?

Jorge: Ozzy Osbourne or the ghost of James Baldwin.
Samuel: My favorite celebrity, Dwayne Johnson.
Zack: Bob Dylan.
Haley: I would definitely invite my sister Blake, she would bring a lot of comedy to the show.
Droste: Prof (rapper).
Katie: Brittany Broski. 

If you had to sing karaoke, what song would you pick?

Jorge: “La Bikina” by Luis Miguel.
Samuel: “Son of Man” by Phil Collins.
Zack: “The Wild Rover” by The Dubliners.
Haley: “Benny and The Jets” by Elton John.
Droste: “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” by Donny Osmond from Mulan.
Katie: “You’re so Vain” and “Escape” (the pina colada song).