Sarswati K.
IB Chemistry and Biology Teaching Professional and Examiner With Both HL/SL and TOK Experience, Holds Ph.D. in Manufacturing Engineering with 14+ Years of Teaching Experience.
Ph.D. in Applied Chemistry & Polymer Technology, Delhi College of Engineering, India
Master of Science in Biology, Delhi College of Engineering, India


I have been involved in teaching Chemistry (IB Chemistry and Biology at HL and SL level) Polymer Technology and Sustainability courses. Being an IB teacher, my involvement was fully focused on completing research-based projects for SL and HL students with proper TOK and complete DOE planning. I worked as an examiner for IB courses and time to generate the proper guidelines and direct the students towards completing the IB portfolio. During my Ph.D., I was given teaching assistances as well, where I teach polymer technology, reaction mechanism, plastic compounding, and nanotechnology.

List of Other Courses Taught

• Organic Chemistry (Fundamentals)
• Biochemistry (Principles &Industrial Application)
• High School Chemistry (IB and Ministry Curriculum)
• Analytical Sciences (Concepts & Techniques)
• High School Biology (IB and Ministry Curriculum)
• Lab Operational Practices (Device & Waste Disposal)
• High School Physics (SPH3U and SPH4U)
• Statistical Quality Control (FMEA/SPC/CAD)
• Corrosion Sciences (Theory/Analysis/Field)
• Material Analysis Methods (UV, FTIR, NMR, TGA/DSC)
• Organic Electronics (Theory & Applications)
• Bio-medical Instrumentation (Materials & Design)
• Composite Technologies (Polymer/Carbon/Fibre)
• Environmental Sustainability (ESG Analysis)
• Packaging Processing (Extrusion/Injection)
• Hindi Language (Advance) and Sanskrit (Basics)

Teaching Experience

• Over Eight years of teaching experience at graduate, undergraduate (MYP, IB, AP and Diploma Program), and adult levels through various teaching modes (on-line teaching, in-class, one-to-one, and in a group)
• IB Theory of Knowledge (Chemistry and Biology) = 2006-2009
• IB Chemistry (SL / HL) = 2011-2013
• IB Biology (SL / HL) = 2011-2013
• Canadian Curriculum SCH4U, SCH3U, SB13U, SB14U, SCH3U, SCH4U (2015- present)
• Polymer Technology (On-Line Course Platform ;Malaysia) = 2015-2017
• Supervised co-op students and taught practical and innovative lab-chemistry (Microbiology and Biochemistry) to graduate and undergraduate students towards the completion of Various assigned Scientific projects (STEM).

• Documented, compiled, and created course-curriculum, Curriculum -mapping, and subject-related study booklets for different educational industries, including adult education programs
• Conducted educational workshops, conferences, technology-driven talks, and student /parent /staff meetings, generating ideas clearly and concisely.
• Published numerous Technical and Product Reports in different Journals by using various publishing formats (MS Office, Adobe InDesign, MS Publisher, and tools (Mat lab and LaTex)

What is your teaching philosophy?

Teaching is an art of innovation. To innovate means you need to rediscover the person with a sense of exploration so that he/she can identify their own goals and destinations for themselves. Personally, I strongly believe that a classroom should be a safe, caring community where children are free to speak their minds and blossom and grow. Moreover, teaching is a multi-way learning process for your students, colleagues, parents, and the community. This is a lifelong process where you learn new strategies, new ideas, and new philosophies.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

I ask them to introduce themselves, and I introduce myself as well to them.
I ask them what motivates them to learn the science subjects and try to find out their keen sense of learning curiosity. I offer them clear class expectations from them and the teacher towards the completion of the course.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

My main aim of teaching to make students independent. My approach includes following up with the students learning ability, evaluating it, and then enhancing by giving them repetitive open book work. The student is more focused on learning a concept rather than memorizing it and scoring the marks. If they become independent learners, they need only supervision and guidance, not really a kid dish treatment. Various methodologies that I follow in the class are not limited but mainly focused as mentioned below:
1. Create an Open Environment.
2. Reward Initiative.
3. Scrutinize Independent Work.
4. Assign Research Projects.
5. Encourage Dissenting Views.
6. Encourage Brainstorming.
7. Ask Open-Ended Questions.
8. Focus on the Positive.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

My motivation comes in repetitive work exercises (the same question but in different forms).
Find the topic this interests most and then start from there.
By offering the formative type of exercises.
Keep constantly engaged in activities.
Another way I motivate my students is by providing opportunities to them personally to connect to the subject matter. I encourage them to set their own goals, set up a system for self-monitoring and progress-tracking. I collaborate with their peers and myself on the syllabus or course reading material to act as the facilitator.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

To make things easy, I normally use the following approach:
1. Give Examples and Counter-Example -so that you understand the concept properly.
2. Define Difficult Words/terminologies, and some times using task analysis is much more appropriate – teach a concept in small chunks until students have gained mastery.
3. Knowing Your Students’ Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences.
Knowing your students’ learning styles and multiple intelligences will help students fulfill individual learners’ needs. Some learn through writing, others by visual, while some learn by using the audiovisuals. Once I know my students’ strengths, I encourage them to explore their abilities by using that first and then trying others. If you know the student learns best through music, then put the new rule or concept to a familiar tune to help with recall. For instance, some students are a kinesthetic learner (which I have found a tendency in struggling students), then use I math manipulatives and demonstrate the rule. This will also help visual learners! There are other quick assessments (MCQ) I use to learn about my students, including assessments for learning styles and multiple intelligences.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

Provide vocabulary for each associated topic.
For Chemistry and Biology subjects, most of the time, students fail to understand the terminologies and formulas, which I most of the time solve by providing them cheat sheets to use that repetitively within the class. In biology, mostly, I make students read and write and give them small research literature projects that have helped solve this issue.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Following as the strategies that I like to follow in the class:
1. Get Organized. Making a plan for what we are going to do and when the students are going to do it and will make sure that the students are always ahead of the curve.
2. Avoid multitask; multitasking is physically impossible as it divides the focus.
3. Set a schedule for study.
4. Take notes during the class.
5. Managing the study space within a class as well as during the free time. In short, Practice time management!
6. Attending class regularly is essential, and always be prepared for class.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
8. Understand the importance of the syllabus, and refer back to it throughout the semester.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling with?

1- My approach includes full engagement, and students must perceive activities as being meaningful.

2- By fostering a sense of competency and this can be done by showing peer coping models (i.e., students who struggle but eventually succeed at the activity) and peer mastery models (i.e., students who try and succeed at the activity) Include feedback that helps students to make progress

3- Collaborative learning is another powerful facilitator of engagement in learning activities. When students work effectively with others, their engagement is always amplified due to experiencing a sense of connection to others during the activities.

4- High-quality teacher-student relationships are another critical factor in determining student engagement, especially in difficult students and lower socioeconomic backgrounds. The students’ perspective of learning activities also determines their level of engagement.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

After each topic, I take short MCQ -quizzes based on understanding and knowledge, which helps me determine students’ learning patterns and most of the time of learning, and I am also suing a few summative ones.

How do you build a student’s confidence in a subject?

Few strategies I use in building Confidence In Students.
Encourage the students in focusing and promote A Positive Mindset.
Remind students of Progression and their Value Outside Of School.
We need to offer praise to our students and give them chances to succeed.
I try to make all learning goal-oriented.

How do you evaluate a student’s needs?

Based on his understanding level and the first time when I take the subject-based test.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student’s needs?

This is completely based on individual students’ needs.
I first see their understanding level and what they are looking for; from there, I start my teaching pattern.
In tutoring, I believe that all student’s needs are different from each other.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

1- My own PowerPoint presentation; Coursebook reference, and few websites as reference material, including Khan academy.

2- Computer with shared screen and small handwritten notes which shows the formula derivations.

3- In the end, some class-based 10 question quiz which they have to take with themselves for their own evaluation.

4- If online (then I provide them the zoom recorded link for classes as well).

Teaching Skills

Subject Skill Level
Biology HL
Biology SL
Chemistry HL
Chemistry SL
Extended Essay ​(EE)
Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man- Sarswati Koul

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