Have you tried being a TA?


Piper Olsen

I’m sharing Teddy McCabe’s and my exprience teacher assiting for Mrs. Stoebe and a fun memory from Unified PE.

At the end of junior year, you’re picking your classes for your final year of highschool…. EEK! A lot of students aim for the “Senior Slide.” In my case, I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and try different classes. My main reason for this was to see if anything sparked my interest. 

First quarter I signed up for Unified Physical Education (UPE) led by Sailor, a Physical Education teacher at SHS, this class includes working with other students in our school with different types of needs and abilities.

Nevaya Gurung, Jeff, and Piper Olsen stop for a selfie with the Mississppi river during a scavenger hunt. (Piper Olsen )

SHS senior, Teddy McCabe, also took Unified PE first quarter, although he started taking Unified PE in his junior year! Teddy ended up liking it so much, he continued to take it this year!

We did everything: bowling, frisbee golf, lifting, mini golf, volleyball, and so much more! I fell in love with it! Every day there were new surprises like Tanner’s hot takes or having dance battles with Kennedy. I don’t think there was one day that went without a laugh!

Teddy shared that his favorite activity is swim days: “The best part of the swim days was when Tyler jumped off the diving board!”

One of my favorite memories is when we went on a scavenger hunt at Mississippi Park. I was in a group with my friends Nevaya and Jeff.​​ I’ll never forget…Jeff had decided to dress in a bear suit that day. At one point I started to laugh so hard I cried.  We had the time of our lives!

As Unified PE started to wrap up, I was looking for opportunities to continue to work with these students.

That’s when I found Mrs. Stoebe’s class! I knew right away I had to TA for her. Teddy decided to TA for Mrs. Stoebe too because all the kids are super fun! 

Teddy and I TA’d for Mrs. Stoebe second block. This was a work experience class for a few students.

Teddy works with Max the whole block. They deliver mail to all the district buildings as well as school service jobs.

I worked with Elena, Max, and Chase for about twenty minutes each. Towards the middle to the end of quarter, I focused more on working with Elena. 

Elena and Piper Olsen practice drilling and undrilling screws during job skills time. (Permission to use from Mrs. Stoebe)

I started off by going to the office with Elena and Barb, a high school paraprofessional, to pick up passes to hand out around the school. First, we would organize them by halls and levels. Next, Elena would lead us to our first destination (usually Meadows hall), after this I would have her read the room numbers on the passes for the entire hall. I would mostly guide Elena to look up where the numbers were on the wall, and help through any rooms that ended up being quite busy.

Towards the end of the quarter, she had gotten so good at passes. I would have her read the numbers then ask, “Can you take me to class that it belongs to? or Where is this class?”

This would just prompt her to look for the numbers and then BOOM! Elena would find the rooms all by herself and bring the passes to teachers independently.

I do not think I’ll forget when she did this for the first time! I was so so so pumped and excited for her progress! Watching Elena make so much progress and being part of her journey gifted me so much gratitude and joy for the little things.

Elena didn’t only offer me the sweetness in her heart, but she also gifted her friendship. No matter what I looked like, how I dressed or even acted, Elena would always be looking forward to seeing me. I think that is my favorite thing about her. She will be friends with anyone no matter their circumstances! This is something I was able to learn from her and apply to my own life.

When I asked Teddy if there were any lessons he has learned from TA-ing for Emily, he shared, “Some days you have to be very patient and never you know what the day is going to bring.”

I can confidently say that I want to continue experiences like this throughout my life!