Dr. Cousins was my Intro to Psychology professor my fall semester freshman year and it was my first time having a class where the professor included supplemental articles that provided diverse opinions about the field of psychology. As a student interested in understanding the intersectionality within the field of psychology, it was amazing connecting with my professor during office hours. During office hours I was introduced to Dr. Banales’s lab which I joined my spring semester. In Dr. Banales’s lab, I had the opportunity to conduct multiple literature reviews on Critical Consciousness and Anti-racism work which led me to propose a project that combined the Intro to Psych course and the valuable information learned in Dr. Banales’s lab. I was able to maintain a strong relationship with Dr. Cousins throughout the spring semester and decided to apply for CUTF with her as my faculty mentor.
The role of being a collaborator to the Intro to Psychology course is a quite different experience than my time as a student in Dr. Cousin’s class. My hardest learning curve was building modules and creating quizzes through Canvas. I had plenty of questions on the logistical process of creating these modules because I was not navigating the site as a student, but as an instructor. Dr. Cousins addressed all my questions and helped me understand how to shift to an instructor mindset when building lessons and creating quiz questions that will challenge the students and enforce reflection. The pictures I have included in this post illustrate a small part of what Canvas looks like and how one creates modules and quizzes through the platform.
I have only been in this instructor position for a few months, but I recommend to anyone who is interested in teaching to pursue an undergraduate teaching assistant position. Once you have taken a course and have done well, you will have the opportunity to obtain a UTA position where you can help the professor with creating presentations, holding review sessions and hosting office hours for students. Through this position, you will develop stronger connections with a professor in a course you have already taken. Through these connections you can pursue projects of your own and have amazing faculty mentors to guide you through your projects!