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Teaching Philosophy

Helping students master the fundamental content of the course is the most important goal that I strive to achieve as a teacher. Very carefully prepared course materials are the first and the most important step toward this goal. Often, I prepare the lectures before the beginning of the semester. Slides are created in such a way that students can learn fundamentals first and then to solve some practical problems. I usually include several more challenging examples to help them solve more complicated problems. As a significant measure of learning, some quizzes, tests, and homework are included during the semester. Those assignments can be completed if they attend the class, read the handouts, and review the textbook. I found the combination of PowerPoint presentation and chalkboard writing is very useful for students to learn skills for problem-solving.

Compared to learning, critical thinking is much more important to students for their future career development. As a teacher, I take this seriously and use every opportunity to help them develop these skills. One method I found effective is to present some straightforward examples first in the class to demonstrate the fundamentals, then make some changes to these examples and pose some tricky questions. Then I provide different answers for them to choose from. I found students become more concentrated and start to talk to each other, which indicates they are thinking. During office hours, I also apply this strategy to the individual student to foster critical thinking. This will allow them not only merely accept my ideas but also help them apply the principles diligently.

Being a role model for students, a teacher bears a tremendous responsibility to not only students but also to families and society. As a teacher, I want my students to be knowledgeable in chemical science and engineering, responsible for the work assigned to them, respectful to their peers and mentors in the class, and eager to learn new things. This philosophy stems firmly from my experiences as a student and my status as a teacher and a scholar. I would like to continue the practice of this philosophy in my future teaching career and to continue improving my teaching skills to meet new teaching environments

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