"I like that I teach at different times in the programme. I get to introduce students during their very first subject, but also bring more depth during the elective subject, which also ties in with my own research." Tessa strives to tailor the education she teaches to her target audience. In addition, it should also be fun for her. "I like working with online polls, and then I have great fun looking for the wrong gifs and the latest memes."
Tessa's biggest challenge in her teaching is balancing student engagement while making sure students are not overloaded and over-stressed. "I want to make teaching attractive and be there for students, but then I expect a minimum level of engagement and commitment." Despite already being an experienced teacher, Tessa sometimes has start-up problems during her lectures and presentations. "I stutter regularly for the first 5-10 minutes, and I often get red marks on my neck. After a few minutes, though, I get into the flow and then things go well. I need some time to get into the right mode, haha!"
I like working with online polls, and then I have great fun looking for the wrong gifs and the latest memes
Besides teaching what Tessa teaches, she is busy with her research on how primary school children interact with each other. Related questions include: 'Who is liked?' and 'What is your gut feeling about someone, and how does that guide your behaviour?'." For example, Tessa focuses on the motivation to be popular and the motivation not to want to be unpopular and how that plays a role in bullying and following along with bullying. "I also look at how primary school children consciously and unconsciously have an opinion about each other and how they behave towards each other."
In the teaching she does, Tessa enjoys being able to inspire students. "Students sometimes come to me and say they got very excited about a particular topic because of my lectures. When this happens, I notice the difference I can make to students in their studies."