I was assigned to the Level 200 Chinese Oral class. My first class! It was a 7:30am lecture at Jones Quartey Building, room 12. I walked in some minutes early and I occupied one of the seats in the front row. Our oral class had an interactive session. During this session, both my lecturer and I moved from student to student to give answers to the questions they asked.
It was during this time that some of the students realized I was the teaching assistant.
When the lecture was over, two students walked up to me and said, “hello, are you our new Teaching assistant (T. A)? They did not wait for my answer and proceeded to add, “we thought you were one of our classmates when you walked in. We only discovered you were our T. A during the interactive session.
My lecturer and I had another class that afternoon with another group of Level 200 Chinese students. Having the experience from the morning lecture in mind, I tried my best to look as serious as a teaching assistant should look😁 But no, I failed at it again. Just when I sat on the only vacant seat close to the lecturer, one student looked at me and asked, “are you a member of the group scheduled to do their presentation today? Because I have booked that seat for a friend.”
I feigned a smile and replied, “No, I’m your new T. A” then I picked up my bag and moved to the back of the class since there only vacant seats at the time were all at the back of the class.
After doing my national service for a year, I’ve picked up some valuable life lessons and I think you can learn them too.
PLAN- In the first month of your service, write a self development plan if you don’t have one yet. List the projects you plan to engage in during the year. Give it to your boss to help you review it if possible. Stay committed to the plan and remember that one way to stay successful is to “think on paper”.
In our first month of service, my boss, the coordinator of the Chinese section of the Modern Languages department, requested that my colleagues and I write our personal development plans. We were to present it to him for review when we had finished preparing it. I wrote mine and he helped me make some changes where necessary. I’ve achieved 90% of the goals I listed in my personal development plan. I can attest that, writing down our goals does some real magic. Think on paper! Write down your plans!
GET A LEADER WHO CARES – I know this might be totally out of your control, but if you have the chance to choose, choose to work with a boss who genuinely cares about your personal development. Intentionally pick up good habits from your bosses and colleagues. I’m grateful for a list of experiences in this past year, but the top of the list is that, I’m grateful for a firm, yet caring boss. Dr. Clement Appah was my boss during my national service and he has mentored my colleagues and I with excellence! Give him some accolades 🎉👏🏽.
INVEST – Invest your money, invest your time and invest your emotions into profitable ventures!
I wish you an amazing journey as you begin your national service. Remember to start this journey with the decision to become more!