The past ten years have afforded me the opportunity to instruct or tutor a diverse group of students of various backgrounds and ages. During my undergraduate career, I tutored ESL (English as a second language) middle school students, and I was also chosen by the Rockford University chemistry department to be the sole tutor for the freshman general chemistry course.
I have spent three of my five semesters in graduate school teaching. During my first two semesters, I taught an organic chemistry laboratory course. As I teacher, I strive to be my students’ most useful resource. I fostered a sense of a teamwork from the start by stating on day one that it was not the student versus the instructor, but the student and instructor against the material. By the end of the semester, I believe the students found value in the course as more than just a graduation requirement.
As a WISCIENCE Service Fellow, I took a voluntary instructional role in Exploring Service in Science, a first-year undergraduate seminar. My responsibilities were to equip students with the resources to engage in service, to promote critical thinking about the interplay between science and society, and to lead them into the community to perform service activities. I helped them develop mutually beneficial partnerships with the community to recognize community needs that can be addressed using scientific approaches. Furthermore, I taught them the skill sets they would need to not only be prepared for the workforce, but also to be prepared for a life of active and committed citizenship. This experience provided me with significant teaching experience utilizing high-impact practices and a chance to incorporate community engagement into my career. My teaching experiences have undoubtedly forced me to become a better communicator of science, and I look forward to further improving this ability.