My teaching experience consists of Teaching Assistant (TA) and Cohort Leader (CL) positions in Mathematics and Computer Science classes, teaching at Freshmore level (first-year university students), at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).
As a teacher, I aim to provide high-quality teaching to my students, providing them with solid knowledge and exceptional skills, hopefully laying down a life-long foundation for their future studies and jobs.
However, to me, teaching is also much more than transmitting knowledge and information. It is essential to me that my students understand why they are learning specific notions and how this will help them in the future. It is especially critical when it comes to teaching Mathematics, which can – at times – appear very abstract and have no obvious immediate applications. To make sure that the students understand and do not merely re-execute the methods I taught them, I try – as much as possible – to use realistic scenarios and real-life applications in my teaching.
In addition to real-life application examples used in my lectures, I also focus on designing funny and playful activities for the weekly lab sessions the students must work on. For instance, our “introduction to Python programming and computer science” class had many lab activities involving the Thymio, a hands-on educative robot, which we used to introduce basic notions of robotics, state machines, machine learning, and data science. Moreover, the students also had to work on a semester-long project, whose topic they could freely choose. Our only constraint was that the project needed to be implemented on campus and had to enhance the students’ quality of life. We strongly believe that this project allowed the students to work on a subject that not only pleased them but for which the applications and renderings had tangible impacts they could immediately visualize.
Finally, I also like to assess the quality of my teaching and incorporate suggestions from the students’ feedback, both from the formal feedback survey done at the end of the semester and from the discussions I have with students at the end of classes. I sincerely believe that the quality of a teacher is measured not only in the delta of knowledge among his students between the moment they enter and leave class but also in the human qualities of the teacher and his ability to listen to his students.