Dr. Fares, Alber


As you know, knowledge is far more valuable when shared. This teaching is especially important as it imparts…

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As you know, knowledge is far more valuable when shared. This teaching is especially important as it imparts knowledge to others. I can still clearly remember that I started enjoying "teaching" at a young age. After I had learned something new, I was always itching to share my new discovery with my little companions. While growing up as a high school student, an undergraduate, a graduate, and even a doctoral, I have always admired those school teachers and university professors who excelled at conveying their knowledge unto me. My teaching experiences in college as a Lecturer and in graduate school as a Visitor Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry from Oct. 1995 not only helped me to improve my teaching skills but also have encouraged me to pursue a life-long career in teaching and research. Now that I am equipped with the knowledge of fundamental Chemistry as well as research experience at the frontier of materials science, I am eager for a teaching opportunity to share what I have learned and to inspire those young and fresh minds so often found in academia.

Teaching and Work Experience

1995 I started to work as a Visitor Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry. This was my first-time teaching college students face to face. I was very excited but at the same time a little nervous. Luckily, most of the students took to my teaching methods very fast as I was trying my best to extend their horizons based on my knowledge in my own research field. The students' huge interest in my lab sessions definitely helped to encourage me. With thorough preparation for each lab session and constantly thinking of how to improve my teaching methods, I became very skilled at instructing and the students made me feel as though I was one of the most liked lab instructors in the department. Then I started to work as an ONLINE Lecturer of Chemistry for water and wastewater treatment Chemistry course (unique course). As a more experienced face to face, I realized that my responsibility should go beyond just sharing knowledge online. There are other critical responsibilities such as helping students form habits of critical thinking and developing the ability to discover new things by themselves. One simple way of achieving these is to provide "inspiring hints", rather than direct answers, to their questions. I usually did this by responding to students' questions with helpful hints, just pointing them in the right direction rather than giving them the final answer. These hints would lead students to think through their problem and finally figure out the correct answer for themselves. This simple method teaches students how to approach problems, helps them understand the answers better, and more importantly, it builds up confidence in themselves to discover the solutions on their own.

Feb. 2016 I got used to teaching in High Schools for Seminole County public schools, FL. This was my first-time teaching for high school, it was deferent for a teacher who came from college and university to teach for teenagers, so I started using my teaching skills with support from other teachers and my supervisors, I got Highly effective in my first HS teaching evaluation. In high school, I am learned that it is very important to plan when creating unit plans. The unit plans must be aligned with the established content standards provided by the district. It can be quite challenging at times to cover all the material outlined in the county's scope each quarter. Planning is imperative to achieving the goal of adhering to the county scope and sequence. My lessons are aligned to the county's scope and sequence. The challenges I have faced in my first year regarding lesson planning involving time constraints due to unexpected disruptions in teaching time. Due to all the standardized testing, my students are required to complete, I lose important class time with the students. Combining the standardized test dates with other activities going on at the school such as course registration, assemblies, pep rallies, etc., it can be challenging to keep track of how many hours of class time I have for each unit. As an educator, my goal was for all my students is to help them understand and master the content identified by the district. To do this, I needed to plan by allotting a certain number of hours of class time to each unit. I also needed to take into consideration the testing calendars sent out by the school testing coordinator as well as the school activity calendar to account for the loss of class time. Doing this will allow me to get a more accurate timeline for planning units and lessons. This was helping gauge how much time I should spend on each topic to make sure I hit all the important content outlined in the scope and sequence.

I have seen a huge improvement in student learning because of using some strategies. Adjusting the way, the content is taught has made all the difference in student learning as well as student behavior. I have found that employing guided inquiry "lab investigations" has had a tremendous impact on student learning. It is one thing to read about a topic in a book but if the students get to do hands-on activities they will not only understand the material better but they will remember it better as well. Most of the labs I have been using come directly from the scope and sequence outlined by the district. Not only have test scores improved, but student behavior has improved as well. Because the students are learning the material through labs and investigations, they are more engaged in the content. Students who are engaged and interested in the material are unlikely to have behavioral issues. Alleviating behavioral issues also allows for more class time which makes it easier to adhere to the scope and sequence.

My Teaching Philosophy

In my point of view, a great teacher is like a great artist who uses basic tools to transform raw materials into valuable assets of the society. However, great artists may not have the best tools or best skills – they are recognized because of their passion and their unique perspective of the world. That is the difference between an artist and an artisan. Teaching is similar. Great teachers are not just the ones who transmit information, teach skills, and help students earn the best grades. They are those who share their passion for knowledge and curiosity with their students, inspire the students' creativity, develop their critical thinking ability, and prepare them for the complex world they will face after stepping off campus. Based on my own experiences of being a student and assistant lecturer, I think the following "principles" are the most noteworthy ones in good teaching:

First, passion is one of the most important key ingredients of effective teaching. It leads to full preparation, a continuous desire to improve teaching skills, and an intense delight in watching students learn. How well the students can learn mostly depends on how passionate and how devoted the teacher is.

Second, teaching is not just a way to impart knowledge, but can also be used as a method to foster interest in the subject. Students are naturally curious. They are intrigued by the world around them. Teaching is far more effective when students are truly intrigued because they will "actively" learn and seek new knowledge rather than feeling like they are being "forced" to learn by the teacher.

Third, a teacher should encourage critical thinking and should always strive to be respectful of different opinions. Students, on the other hand, should learn to think independently, not merely accept the teacher's opinions. A teacher should be prepared to challenge and be challenged by the students as every student possesses unique perspectives, and they should be supportive when considering their different perspectives.

Finally, course materials should be presented in an interesting and interactive environment, which will make the student want to learn and retain more information. For this reason, I believe that using computer-based technology such as multimedia, slides, and the Internet, is an effective way to complement traditional lectures, laboratory exercises, and even exams. Nevertheless, readings combined with traditional lectures are still the foundation of the educational experience.

My pursuit of higher education and being a scientist is partly due to several teachers who have inspired me and taught me the necessary skills to achieve these goals. Now I would like to join their ranks and be a catalyst for others to fulfill their dreams. I believe my great passion for teaching, various past teaching experience, strong academic background and communication skills will make me an excellent teacher.

Alber Fares

We need to help tour students to do more labs to understand the hard science language!!”

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We need to help tour students to do more labs to understand the hard science language!!”

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