We are pleased to announce that three of our graduate students have recently won the Graduate Students’ Teaching Award (GSTA) for Semester 2 AY2020/2021!
Congratulations to all three winners, who have done our department proud!
Since Gabriel is a first-time winner, we also took the opportunity to find out what makes him such an effective teacher.
1. What inspires you to teach?
I’ve been greatly inspired by my tutors in my undergraduate years, who have given me firsthand experience about how good tutors can really make a difference in learning interest and understanding.
2. What are some of the major challenges you face as a teacher?
The online teaching format has been especially challenging in the past year. It is much more difficult to gauge the students’ progress understanding without being able to interact with them face-to-face; for instance, not being able to walk around the class to quickly check if all the students are following along with class demonstrations. From personal experience, students are less likely to voice out questions over Zoom, particularly if they are tabbed out of the Zoom window writing down notes or trying to work on the class assignments, which in turn makes it difficult to gauge if the current pace of the class is appropriate for the students.
3. Why do you think you are an effective teacher?
Having been a student in the same classes that I am currently teaching has given me a better idea of what students are likely to experience difficulties with in terms of understanding the class material. This has perhaps allowed me to better pick out parts of classes to focus on and pre-empt possible questions to work into my explanations during teaching.