Heather Campbell's Classroom
Director of Studies
The main areas in which I can provide help are: English as a second language (ESL, EFL); plant biology / botany; ecology, particularly restoration ecology and conservation biology. For people attempting to navigate English as a second language - no easy task! - I have a variety of materials from beginning to advanced levels.
I have an extensive list of free-talking subjects that I've refined over the past 5 years of teaching ESL, for stimulating conversations with advanced students. It's very important to practice both language recognition as well as language production, because there are actually different parts of the brain involved in those two elements. So a good course of study includes not only reading and listening (recognition) but also plenty of writing and speaking (production). Try writing a journal entry in English every night, just a paragraph or two on a particular topic.
For those interested in plant biology, my enthusiasm may be infectious. Plants are so often overlooked, but they're genuinely amazing. The standard textbooks, such as Raven’s Biology of Plants, are all good. In particular, I appreciate the organization and the photos in Raven. I'd also suggest a "photographic atlas" as a supplement, if you're not able to attend a laboratory class. Of course, nowadays with the ways we can adapt cell phone cameras to become microscopes, you sort of carry a lab with you in your back pocket! See https://www.wired.com/2011/03/diy-cellphone-microscope/ for example.
I am always on the search for more low-tech experiments and experiences to share. There are some informative-and-not-boring (!) videos on youtube, such as those from Khan Academy or Crash Course, that give correct but simple introductions to biology subjects, though plants are once again given less attention.
I've had decades of experience with informal and formal education, from elementary school students in Africa learning about composting, to pre-med students at the university studying plant biology, to Korean Supreme Court judges keeping their English language skills keen, to inmates serving life sentences but establishing a prison garden, to future educators attempting to grasp the skills and knowledge that science teachers and science communicators require.
The light of recognition in someone's eyes when a concept finally becomes clear or when some incredible fact is revealed -- that's what makes my world go 'round. When I'm not teaching, I'm exploring. That may mean hiking, biking, snowshoeing, or kayaking; taking classes in Spanish or psychology; traveling to yet another country; reading fiction or non-fiction; having philosophical conversations that help me to understand myself and other people a little better.
If you would like me to be your Director of Studies, fill out the following form:
- English as a Second Language (ESL, EFL)
- Plant Biology
- English (fluent)
- French (conversational)