Students lead their peers as teaching assistants

By Olivia Fergus-Brummer, Managing Editor

As the 7:55 bell trills and seventh graders begin filing into their 1st period class, Emma Haugh-Ewald greets them at the door. Soon after, she encourages students to share what homework they had and provides them with methods to manage daily stressors. 

Haugh-Ewald, Div 052, a former Lane Tech Academic Center student herself, is serving as an assistant teacher in LTAC Academy with Ms. Gallegos. 

Lane’s teaching assistant (TA) program began when students began expressing interest in furthering their leadership skills within a subject they had excelled in as underclassmen. 

Haugh-Ewald has taught multiple lessons on organization, time management, and human values, and said  she did not expect to build such meaningful relationships with her students. 

“My favorite part of the entire class is just getting to check in with them and getting to know them on a deeper level,” Haugh-Ewald said. 

Henry Lokken, Div. 050, serves as a TA for an Honors Chemistry class with Mr. Batt. Having taken the class as an 8th grader, he was excited to be back in a Chemistry classroom. 

Through assisting, he has developed a deeper understanding of the subject and a greater appreciation for his teachers’ patience. 

“Recently I actually did some teaching for the ionic naming unit and some grading, but I mostly just help around the class and help answer the students’ questions,” Lokken said. 

Though most TAs are former academic center students with especially open senior year schedules, not all TAs are graduating with the class of 2020. 

Junior Madison Bryant, Div. 158, is an assistant in a science class within Lane’s cluster program. 

President of Lane Buddies Club, Bryant first expressed interest in working with people with disabilities in her freshman year. After discovering Lane’s TA program, she promptly applied, seeing it as an opportunity to delve deeper into a possible career. 

“I thought it would be really cool to go into a career in the future where I can advocate for kids with special needs,” Bryant said. 

Ms. Jones, Bryant’s teacher in her 7th period class, said that Bryant has been a tremendous help to her as well as her students this year.

“Most of them need a lot of support,” Jones said. “Any individualized time from another adult or another teacher with the skills to support them helps them improve everything they do.” 

Jones described one student in particular who she believes to have benefited greatly from Bryant’s presence. 

“[Madison is] his biggest fan and he does so much more work when she’s there,” Jones said. “She cheers him on and if he wants to do a little dance at the end, she’s all about dancing with him.”

As for Bryant, she is adamant that the daily chaos and unexpected challenges the class has brought has been a tremendous learning opportunity for her. 

“This really solidified my passion and my idea that in the future I could be a teacher or someone that works with children with special needs,” Bryant said. “It proved to me that I can do that.” 

Ms. Jones expressed tremendous appreciation for Madison and recommended that all teachers consider having a TA, as she believes they benefit both the teacher and their students.

Olivia Fergus-Brummer
Madison Bryant, Div 158, helps students in the cluster program describe the weather at the beginning of each class.