I have 10 years experience teaching Anatomy, Biology, Microbiology, Intro to Biochemistry and Human Biology and others at the college level. I have an equal amount of experience tutoring Biology, Anatomy, Chemistry and other Sciences to high school and college students. During my time teaching and tutoring at a variety of schools I have had the privilege of educating a diverse range of students. I have found one of the most effective means of teaching is to ensure open lines of communication between myself and my students. Oftentimes it is still better to have in-person demonstrations, so I offer out-of-class reviews over class material and help students prepare for exams.
While presenting the material itself, I use a variety of techniques. I understand verbal, visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning styles. In addition to my lecture I present movies or clips to illustrate concepts. I also employ models of organ systems we are covering or to demonstrate how things look different in three dimensions. These give the students something tactile to grasp and usually assists students with difficult concepts. If there are no models available for what I want to show, I will make them myself. I have made DNA and RNA models out of clay and used wired models, clay , beads and string to illustrate how hormones work.I also have the students engage in both small and large group discussions and exercises about the material. It is here that the bonds I form early really help, as the students are more inclined to bring up discussion points and share their views and ideas. I can also bring in my own experiences as a researcher and connect the concepts with real world applications. Once they have made that connection, it allows for greater comprehension and retention of the material.
No singular teaching style is perfect and there is always room for improvement. As such, at the end of every semester I pass out a form asking what the students liked and just as importantly disliked about the class. I read over these and make changes and alterations to my classes in response. One result of this is that I provide all the notes on Blackboard from day one of class to make it easier for them to take notes during lecture. I have also put together a presentation on the first day going over study tips and techniques to help them excel in not just my class but anything they are taking. Additionally, I ask each student their major or area of interest. This allows me to tailor my lectures or bring up relevant articles or relationships so they can see how the material applies to their area of interest.
I get great satisfaction from being an educator. I feel privileged to be able to share knowledge with so many students. I often find that I learn as much as I teach. I look forward to fostering knowledge and understanding for years to come.
BGSU - Bachelors, Molecular Biology
BGSU - Masters, Molecular Biology
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in making sure that the student has a firm grasp of the material and understands all aspects of the problem or concept. This will keep them engaged and allow them to build on this knowledge and employ it to tackle more complex ideas.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session, I would like to know what material is currently being covered. If possible, I will have previously asked the student to prepare a list of concepts or problems they are having difficulty with. We can then go through these, and this process will help me identify the student's preferred learning style and what types of techniques I can employ to best assist them.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
The best way is by working on their critical thinking skills. Once they can break down concepts into simpler chunks and understand how previous lessons apply, it will enable them to more easily tackle new subjects.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I like to find out why a student is taking a particular course. This allows me to know what their goals are. I can then relate how their end goals will make use of the knowledge they are gaining in the course they are in.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
The most important thing is understanding what the exact difficulty is. It could be a problem with working out the math. It could be an issue with comprehension of terminology. Once the exact problem is identified, we can work at approaching it from multiple avenues if need be.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I have them describe where they are getting a disconnect. Sometimes, it is just an unfamiliarity with terminology. This comes up frequently in the sciences. I help them break down words and, if necessary, give them alternate words to explain.