I have been a adjunct professor of chemistry for the past 10 years!
In addition to my lecture experience I have taught the organic chemistry laboratories for the last 5 years. That experience has provided me with much insight to the challenges and opportunities in providing the appropriate support and encouragement to the students taking organic chemistry, particularly those who aspire to go to medical or dental school. The laboratory classes do provide a way for the students to gain confidence in the study of the lecture material but oftentimes, students do not make that connection. I make a point of stressing the connection. I have assisted in summer research and have been an advocate for “TAs” (juniors and seniors) to assist with the organic chemistry laboratories because I saw on opportunity to mentor them by allowing them to develop the necessary skills in the laboratory and a better understanding of the chemistry they had taken one or two years previously. I was able to see many of the students develop that confidence and, as such, know how to instill confidence in a student.
Finally, I have attended the last four College of the Fenway Teaching and Learning conferences and I have attended several Process oriented Guided Inquiry (POGIL) conferences, in order to improve my knowledge in the areas of teaching and learning and hear, from other practitioners, some of their experiences and approaches to student teaching and learning . The most recent workshop I attended was the POGIL Northwest regional meeting at Linfield College, McMinnville, OR from July 6 - 8, 2011.
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