I am probably making a mistake by teaching this semester. I have the opportunity and I hate to say no to what is ostensibly a good opportunity for any postdoc. Teaching others helps solidify communication, knowledge, interaction and team work skills. All things I need to work on. After all I have Sheldon Cooperish tendencies

However, I also have a chip on my shoulder that says teaching doesn’t matter and isn’t valued at all as a skill- at any level of education (speaking for the US here, I hear that in Taiwan, tutors are rock stars and there are reality TV competitions ‘who’s the best tutor?’). 

Of course, it is just one class. And I am enjoying solving the puzzle of putting it together for the 2nd time.

I gave my first lecture tonight. It went well enough. I wish I’d had a bit more time to prepare, but the structure of DNA is something I know pretty well. 

I think teaching is good for me, and I think I do derive some satisfaction out of it; but I’m not sure what exactly it is. I do like connecting people to information. And learning new things myself (not that I’ve been super effective at that the past few years…read previous posts; depression sucks. Perhaps it’s something I should explore more in future posts. 

In some ways, it’s good because it forces me out of my shell and pushes me to get things done. It’s also exhausting. 

More to come on this, I’m sure. 


Author: Ian Street

Ian is a plant scientist and science writer relating stories of plant science and scientists on his blog, The Quiet Branches as well as other outlets. You can find him on Twitter @IHStreet.

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