A lot of different people take EECS 111. These people fall into non-mutually-exclusive categories, such as:
- Students who excelled in AP Computer Science in high school,
- Students who have never written a line of code before,
- Students who have been programming on their own for years,
- Prospective computer science majors,
- Nonmajors fulfilling distribution requirements,
- Students "just trying to get a feel for"
big data and machine learning, the hot topics of tomorrowcomputer science, wondering if it's right for them,
- and so on and so forth.
As TAs, our job is to engage and teach all of these students. EECS 111 can form lasting impressions of the program, or even the field as a whole. Be aware that many students may be coming from backgrounds different from yours, and strive to empathize whether they seem jaded, uncertain, or hopelessly confused.
Cynthia Lee, a lecturer in the Stanford University Department of Computer Science, has written an excellent article on the subject of inclusivity: "What can I do today to create a more inclusive community in CS?" Although not all of these pointers may apply to your duties, it's good food for thought nonetheless.