My responsibility as a teacher is to create a stimulating and nurturing environment for learning. I plan the lessons centered around checkpoints – key concepts that are necessary for understanding and will remain longest as the details fade from the memory. At the beginning of the lesson, the students are made aware of the general aim and the specific checkpoints, with the goal of making the lesson a well-planned journey in which everyone can actively participate.
The biggest challenge I observed in students transitioning from studying for exams to doing research is facing the uncertainty in day-to-day research, which can be overwhelming. I believe in a gentle approach to this transition, facilitated by breaking up the challenge into pieces the student can independently solve and gain confidence in their skills in the process. Research is a creative process and as such cannot be rushed or forced. My role as a mentor is accompanying the student on the path of discovering their research style and supporting them in developing technical skills, as well as gaining broader perspective on their research topic.
Popularisation of science
Popularisation of science is an integral part of the research process. Rather than just communicating the key finding, I aim to equally communicate the research process behind the finding. Especially important in popularisation events with school-aged children, honesty about the research process dispels the myth about science being accessible only to geniuses. In my experience, creating analogies between everyday learning experience and doing research makes the abstract topics more relatable and allows for better immersion in the presentation.