Career Gwendolyn Hoffmann - MSc Molecular Life Sciences
“Hi, my name is Gwendolyn and I would like to tell you something about my experiences during the educational minor. I chose to follow the educational minor to discover whether teaching chemistry in a high school is something I want to pursue as a career. My grandparents and father were teachers of different degrees, and I have always found it fun to teach others, so that was all the motivation I needed."
How do you become a teacher?
"After finishing the BSc Molecular Life Sciences at Wageningen University I had obtained enough scientific background to share with others. However, when it came to explaining it to students and learning how to actually be a good teacher, I noticed I still had a long road ahead of me. During the educational minor, you follow courses on subjects as organizing practicals during a class, how to create an exam, different ways of teaching, etc. This all happens in a small class with other teachers in the making. The small class size added to my development, because while sharing our troubles, we learned from one another and we became very close."
Putting theory to practice
"Besides the courses, you immediately put your skills to practice during an internship at a high school in the Netherlands. Which means that fairly quickly I was already teaching, which came with many ups and downs. However, I did absolutely adore teaching, because I loved being able to see my students actually learn from me over time. At the school where I did my internship, the chemistry teachers were open and helpful in showing me their way of teaching, and what has worked for them over the years. This made it possible for me to discover which way of teaching suited me."
New perspectives on teaching
"Even though I absolutely adored my time as a teacher in training, I was missing performing the research myself. I decided to continue my studies in becoming a researcher, but the WUR does offer a follow up of the education minor in cooperation with the Radboud University in Nijmegen, for those students that want to further deepen their teaching skills during their MSc programme. Nevertheless, the skills that I have obtained during the educational minor, such as self-reflection and presenting, will help me in my future career.”