今回のこぼれ話では、2019年春学期に「Diamond Peer Teacher Award」の奨学金を得て、担当教授のティーチング・アシスタントとして下級生の授業補助を経験したTUJ学生二人から寄せられた感想を紹介します。「Diamond Peer Teacher Award」は、学業成績（GPA3.25以上）や担当教授からの推薦など米国本校が定める選考基準をクリアした学生がトレーニングを経て、一学期間、担当教員メンターのもと、一科目授業を担当してティーチングのスキルを身につけるというものです。
- How did you find out about and apply for this award?
Andrea Cattaneo: Everything started as a game and it became a wonderful case of serendipity. Last semester Professor (Mariko) Nagai sent out an email announcing the possibility of being a teacher assistant and it got my attention. I didn’t really know which professor I should have asked to be my mentor. I have been a research assistant for several semesters and worked with Professor Angel. She approached me and asked if I wanted to be her teaching assistant. I did not take Statistics for Psychology with her, but she was confident that my skills were appropriate for the task and that I could help her. So, we wrote the letters for the application and crossed our fingers. After about a month we received an email saying that I had been chosen as a “Diamond Peer Teacher.”
- How did your semester go as a “Diamond Peer Teacher”?
Andrea: The first class was an interesting tornado of emotions and it was the beginning of a new challenge. During class time I would sit in the last row taking notes on the topics discussed in order to tell the students who were absent what was taught during that class. I would help Professor Angel with the mathematical explanations of all the concepts and I would solve all the practice problems on the board. This was my “time to shine” moment where I could explain statistics from a mathematical point of view. Everything became more natural and less scary with time, and my confidence increased also thanks to the tips Professor Angel gave me. Overall, I see this experience as very positive and a great ending of my undergraduate experience before I go to graduate school.
- How would you describe your experience?
Hikari Hida: I was a peer teacher for Professor Kyle Cleveland’s class “The History and Significance of Race in America.” My biggest learning outcome from this experience was to “learn to learn from those who offend me,” which was much more difficult than I ever imagined it could be. When I initially applied to be a TA on a class regarding race, I was aware of and expected the controversial conversations that may arise—and they have indeed. The best and most challenging part of the class for me was participating in the in-class discussions among students, and taking in everybody’s opinions while trying to stay unbiased but critical as a TA. In addition to all of this, I assisted my instructor with producing materials for the class, giving presentations, facilitating discussions, and holding office hours for students who needed some extra help; often utilizing my Japanese to effectively communicate difficult key concepts to non-native speakers outside of class. I have known Professor Cleveland for a while since I worked with him as a research assistant for several semesters, and cannot thank him enough for giving me the opportunity to teach, learn, and grow alongside him.