- Guest Lecturer, Biology 101, Spring 2012, UNC-Chapel Hill
- I taught 5 class periods in Dr. Jean Desaix’s Bio 101 section
- Used active learning exercises and classroom polling
- Here is one of the lesson plans I developed, this one on cellular respiration
- I created (or borrowed) all of the learning activities, formative assessments and summative assessments
- Dr. DeSaix’s feedback can be found under Evaluations
- Group Discussion Facilitator, SuperCell, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
- Fall 2009
SuperCell (a.k.a. Cell Structure, Function, and Growth Control) is a cell biology survey class that first year graduate students in UNC’s BBSP program take. In addition to lectures, the students meet bi-weekly in small groups (4-5 students) and discuss a paper from the primary literature relating to their lectures. I volunteered to be the discussion leader for three sessions. Our discussions didn’t focus so much on the results of the experiments, but rather on the rationale, hypothesis and techniques employed in the papers. We basically went around the room, and I asked each student to explain one aspect of the paper, i.e. explain a technique, interpret a result, evaluate the conclusions. I filled in where necessary, but the students really ended up teaching each other. I really enjoyed these meetings. I love communicating ideas when I know they are practical; when I know that the students will use the tools they develop in our sessions in their own research and reading.
- Guest Speaker, Seminar Series, Brigham Young University
- April 2008
Dr. Allan Judd, a professor with whom I did some undergraduate research, invited me to BYU to give a seminar on my graduate research project. Most of those in attendance were undergraduates in the biology department. I think I did a fine job, but I also learned the importance of scientists learning how to communicate their research and its big picture relevance to a broad audience. I would like to become involved in a program or class that focuses on this.
- Teaching Assistant, Mammalian Physiology, University of California, San Diego
- Spring 2004
From UCSD’s Division of Biological Sciences upper division course catalog description: “This course introduces the concepts of physiological regulation, controlled and integrated by the nervous and endocrine systems. It then examines the muscular, cardiovascular, and renal systems in detail and considers their control through the interaction of nervous activity and hormones. Three hours of lecture and one hour of discussion.” I led the discussion groups (4-5 students) twice a week, in addition to holding regular office hours. I also graded tests and discussed the tests with the students.
This experience was very challenging, but also very rewarding. In enjoyed working with smaller groups because the students generally feel more comfortable asking questions in a smaller group. Also, I have a teaching style that helps the students feel comfortable and willing to speak up. One of the ways I do this is to frequently reflect questions to me back onto the students. When the class becomes less teacher-focused, my students will open up more. On the other hand, structure is also very important, even in informal discussion sections. I learned that students remember and articulate their questions better if we move through material in a methodical manner.
- Laboratory Instructor, Elementary Human Physiology, Brigham Young University
- Fall, Winter 2000
This course was mainly for nursing students. I taught two-hour classes twice a week. I really enjoyed getting to know the students in my classes, and we had a lot of fun using hands-on activities to understand the physiologic principles they learned in class. Generally, I spent the first 10 minutes of class explaining the principles behind the experiments. Then I demonstrated the experiments, and the students broke up into groups and performed them, while I discussed with each group what they were learning.
In this position, I learned that with lab courses, you have to choose the right experiments to demonstrate. Many of the experiments that were done in this lab could be completed within a few minutes, and many of the students finished too quickly. Other students ended up just watching, rather than participating. Even though I moved around the room, gauging their understanding and explaining difficult ideas, looking back, I would have made this class more challenging. If I teach another lab course I will develop experimental plans that are more investigative, rather then demonstrative. In other words, I want my students to solve a problem, not just simply see how something works.
- Spanish Teacher/ Teaching Facilitator, Missionary Training Center, Provo, UT
- Fall 1997- Spring 1999
I taught 19 to 21 year old men and women who had been assigned to serve as church missionaries in Spanish speaking countries. I was in the classroom for about 3-4 hours every day teaching both Spanish and a curriculum designed to improve the teaching skills of the missionaries. I taught Spanish using a loose version of an immersion approach, with Spanish spoken at all times except for the actual grammar lessons. Most students became proficient in the two months they were in my class.
I also taught the missionaries how to teach their message, which included how to build relationships of trust, present a clear message, find out if the listener understands the message, commit the listener to take action based on what they learn, follow up with the commitments, and resolve concerns. This is a powerful pattern that I continue to use in my secular teaching, and really contains the essential components of effective teaching, in my opinion.