Direct Teaching Activities

Formal Teaching Experience:

Texas A&M University, Agricultural Economics 217, Writing Teaching Assistant:

As a writing teaching assistant, I:

  • Held regular office hours for one-on-one tutoring with students and their assignments
  • Graded writing assignments according to a clear rubric

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Physical Geography 103, Teaching Assistant:

As a teaching assistant, I:

  • Held three, weekly laboratory sessions
  • Redesigned old lab assignments for more interactive, hands-on formats
  • Created new lab experiments for students to engage with
  • Led student review sessions for lecture exams

There are two lab sessions that stand out from this experience. One was a session I redesigned to incorporate actual soil samples for students during our soil lab. The soil lab originally had only online searching as part of the assignment. I worked with the Crop Sciences Department to retrieve multiple soil samples and then created a lab experiment that would assist students with seeing differences in various soil’s abilities to/effects of:

  • Hold/transport water
  • Texture of the soil
  • Color of the soil
  • Size of soil granules
This soil lab was focused on showing students the differences between different types of soil by placing soil on top of holes punched in the bottom of Styrofoam cups. Water was then poured into the cups and students observed the rate of water filtering through the bottom of the cup, and how much soil was carried with the water.

Another laboratory session that was fairly successful with student engagement, was a lab that involved a stream table. This stream table allowed students to recreate a real-life model of various river types. They were able to experiment with the angle of the table, which areas would and would not flood, and observe actual river patterns in the classroom.

Here is an image of the stream table from the bottom looking up, giving a view of the type of “river” students were able to encounter.