By setting high expectations but making the expectations clear the students can

By setting high expectations but making the

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By setting high expectations, but making the expectations clear, the students can set personal goals and comfortably study with their peers. Create a Teaching Team. At UCLA, the students sign-up for “discussion sections” (a.k.a. “recitations”) when taking large lecture classes. These are taught by graduate student teaching assistants and provide a forum for students to meet in groups of 20–30 to clarify concepts and hone student problem solving skills. In addition, we have several means to allow undergraduate students, who have previously done well in the course, to help teach discussion sections. Formally, the undergraduates are termed “learning assistants” or “undergraduate assistants” and they can even earn course credit for studying pedagogy. In a recent offering of Chem 14D, nine undergraduates joined the teaching team to provide the enrolled students with an incredible support system and a stellar active learning environment. Learn Student Names. 4 Especially when teaching large classes, making an effort to learn student names can have a tremendous impact. If I am teaching a class of 400 students, I learn at least 200 names during the term. The effort alone means the world to students and can help students make a reciprocal effort in the course. Never Blame the Students. It is critical for teachers to accept responsibility for every aspect of their course. Thus, when a student may appear distracted in class, I ask myself what I could do to better engage that student. Likewise, when writing exams, it is my responsibility as the teacher to make sure the content and difficulty level are commensurate with the class materials and the level of support and resources I have provided. Otherwise, exam averages can be low and this can be extremely disheartening to both the students and the professor. If an exam average turns out to be low in my class, I make it a point to let the students know that I made some judgment errors, as it is highly unlike that ~400 students performed poorly on a ‘fair’ exam. An Opportunity, Not a Burden. Countless times, I have heard faculty describe teaching as being a burden and something that stands in the way of one’s research objectives. This mentality is unfortunate, but ultimately a result of the academic system where faculty promotions are generally tied to research publications and funding. Nonetheless, it is important that teachers adopt the mentality that teaching is not a burden. Rather, teaching is an incredible opportunity to educate the future leaders and problem solvers of the world, while sharing one’s passions. For the vast majority of academicians, the true by guest on January 16, 2020 Downloaded from
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7 legacy we leave behind lies with our students, not our publications or H-index. Creativity Through Music Videos and Retrosynthetic Analysis The creativity displayed by my organic chemistry students has been nothing short of inspiring. I have seen student creativity take many forms, including through an unconventional assignment I first began offering in 2010. More specifically, I offer my students the chance to make
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