During my teaching assistantship of 128 hours at Polytech University fortwo years, I have assisted Prof. Denis Jongmans and Prof.
Stephane Garambois inteaching third and fourth year civil engineering students in studying the Earthstructure using the properties of the soil: we had outdoor acquisitionexperiments at landslide sites, using active and passive seismic measurements,as well as electrical measurements to study the resistivity of the soil. Inclass, we used different softwares (Sardine, Geopsy) to study and invert theshear wave velocity and other soil parameters.As well, I havehad different sessions of reading articles with the students.In addition, Iprepared, in collaboration with Dr.
Gregory Bièvre, and taught a Matlabworkshop in order to quantify the volume of the exploitable soil from a quarry,with 2 main objectives: learn how to use Matlab and how to use it for the sakeof engineering purposes. As well, I graded geophysics reports and presentations.In my student teaching At Polytech in France, I worked with a group ofstudents who were very diverse both culturally and linguistically. Me, as aLebanese instructor, them, as French majority students, with some Chinese,Brazilian, Algerian and even Lebanese among them, I have come to understandthat not all students are alike; they learn at different paces, and what theyvalue in their training and education varies among students. Therefore, adjustingmy instruction to match the abilities and preexisting knowledge that eachstudent brings to the classroom is paramount to foster a safe and productiveenvironment for all students. I have followed teaching and management trainings and got the Labeldiploma in Research and High Education.
Throughout my teaching experience andteaching training, I quickly learned that a student’s success in the classroomis not only dependent on their commitment to excellence but also on thecapacity of their teachers to engage them in the learning process. Moreover, I have organized a one-day scientific event at University ofGrenoble Alpes, with 7 other doctorate students, where we were in charge ofgetting the funding, developing the posters, managing the logisticreservations, social media communication and the animation of experiments andconferences for the general public, for the 12th edition of theso-called ‘Les Tribulations Savantes’. Such experience has provided me with agreat sense of satisfaction by providing me with an avenue to contribute to mycommunity and vulgarizing science for all ages. Lastly, I have mentored 6 undergraduates during their4-months-internship in geotechnical companies.
As in teaching a course, Ilearnt that an effective mentor finds ways to motivate and encourage hismentees, but he must also ensure that mistakes are acknowledged and learnedfrom. Thus, I will ensure regular communication and feedback with eachindividual. My teachingexperiences, coupled with my undergraduate and graduate experiences in which Iwas a student have taught me the profound impact that one good teacher can havetoward a student’s overall development. While the specific learning goals of acourse are dependent upon the nature of the course itself with regards to otherrelated course within the department, I have a personal goal and a commitmentto become the best teacher I can be: (1) Preparation andenthusiasm are cornerstones of effective teaching; they are contagious andinspire critical-thinking and success. (2) Successfulteachers are committed and dedicated to improving themselves and theirstudents. Teaching can always be improved. (3) As an instructor,it is my responsibility to help students generate their own context for meaningthrough the application of the new material to their everyday lives. My training as a seismology and civil engineer has provided me a strongfoundation in seismology, geophysics, as well as transportation and geotechnicalengineering, and I am thus prepared to teach all core undergraduate courses inthese disciplines.
I also envision teaching and developing electives based onmy research background and on the needs and wants of the department andstudents. These could include courses on drilling engineering, geology, andseismic risk analysis and risk management. As these are rapidly evolvingtopics, these courses will be combinations of lectures and reviews of classicand recent literature. In these courses, I will guide students through projectsand assignments that expose them to important skills including programming,statistical methods, conducting literature reviews, and scientific proposalwriting.