My Goal As A Teacher Is To Facilitate
My goal as a teacher is to facilitate learning, provide long-term knowledge, and create interest in the material. Whether it is a requisite for science or non-science majors, I believe chemistry should be made interesting to students. I am particularly interested in teaching introductory and advanced undergraduate chemistry courses. My solid educational background in chemistry and my teaching experience as lecturer and teaching assistant make me qualified to teach Wet Analytical Chemistry, Instrumental Analytical Chemistry, Freshman General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry courses.
From my point of view, an effective teaching method is based on clarity and style, the use of technology, an effective syllabus and supporting study guides, and a positive attitude in the classroom.
Clarity and style: Teaching requires, in addition to the instructor’s strong background and extensive knowledge of the material, the ability to effectively deliver this knowledge to the students. Through my teaching experience, I have been able to develop strategies for conveying complex concepts to audiences of different backgrounds and majors. I specifically emphasize the importance of the conceptual part of science, whether my students are science or non-science majors. This stems from my belief that understanding the concept behind a mathematical equation or a chemical reaction provides long-term knowledge acquisition and an expansion of the critical reasoning skills of students. I have found that classroom discussions are very helpful in this matter, and often lead to intellectually stimulating questions that trigger curiosity and promote analytical reasoning.
Technology: Technology provides effective teaching tools that can be used to facilitate teaching in small and large classrooms. The use of audio-visual tools, such as videos and power-point lecture slides, is very effective in keeping students interested in the material. Whenever a demonstration is not possible, a video showing a chemical reaction or process, or a simulation have been options I consider in my lectures. I have also made online homework, the use of iclickers inside the classroom, and the use of web tools for posting grades, lecture notes and announcements a part of my teaching resources.
An effective syllabus and supporting study guides: A well-written syllabus that explains the objective of the course, an outline of the topics to be covered, office hours, contact information, a clear grading policy, and highlighted test dates and deadlines provides a good introduction to the course. Offering extra study material in the form of an extra-problem worksheet helps students to test their knowledge and use time more effectively. Indeed, I have heard from several students in my class of how helpful the extra study material is. Not only does it train them to use time efficiently, but it also encourages them to study on a daily basis.
The positive attitude: Enthusiasm and passion about the material as well as maintaining a friendly attitude is crucial for an effective instructor. My continuous passion and enthusiasm for teaching has reflected positively on my students. This was clear in my evaluations through which students expressed appreciation for the positive environment I encouraged. Students perform at different levels and take different studying strategies. A dedicated instructor should mentor the progress of students and provide the extra help, if needed. Engaging in study groups, making flash cards or study sheets to summarize the material, and solving extra problems are some of the guidelines I have presented to my students as effective studying tools.
Receiving positive feedback on my teaching skills from my students has not prevented me from continually striving to improve my techniques. I believe the purpose of teaching should exceed the scope of one particular course; it should extend to developing students’ critical thinking and preparing them to excel in their future endeavors. I look forward to practicing and expanding my teaching philosophy, as there is a new skill to acquire in every lecture.