Teacher of the year 2019 Fouzia Lghoul-Oulad Saïd is always ready to answer questions
Last January, the education assessors of the different study associations chose Fouzia Lghoul-Oulad Saïd of the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) as teacher of the year. Her passion for teaching extends beyond her classes, according to the students who nominated her: ‘ She is always ready to answer questions’.
‘I sometimes find it difficult to find the right balance between education and my research. When I’m teaching a course, I want to be available fulltime, even if that means I have to catch up other things’, Lghoul explains, ‘When my lectures ends at five o’clock you could go home, but I still check my e-mail. Even though its costs just a bit more energy, I still do it gladly. But I do notice I have to be mindful of my own limits. When I started teaching, it was easy for me to leave my research to the side. Teaching is very acute, it’s easy to lose yourself in it.’
Lghoul does have a tip for new teachers to deal with this problem: ‘Make sure you’ve planned out as much of your course in advance as possible, that will save you enormous amounts of time when you’re busy teaching.’
‘I’ve become better at scheduling my time. I now have a strict separation between my teaching and research days and that is working quite well. Apart from that, research is a great benefit to education. As a teacher and researcher, you can take your students to the edge of current scientific knowledge.
Teaching at a distance
Even for Lghoul, remote education is something you have to get used to: ‘Normally I like to look students in the eye, that way I can see whether they’ve understood something. I dearly miss that. The two children I have at home can be quite a challenge too.’
‘During lectures, I like to ask students a lot of questions. By questioning them on things they take for granted I can help remove taboos and foster discussion in the group. In pharmacy, you come into contact with people a lot, you have to discuss and use reason. It is the same in lectures as in the real world. But it is a lot more difficult when you only know your students from a distance.’
Luckily, Lgouhl also sees some positives sides to the current situation: ‘Digital teaching has a lot of possibilities. Normally, we have a lot of contact hours for something that you can also do via the internet. If you do have physical lectures, it should have added value.
Fouzia Lghoul-Oulad Saïd is PhD candidate at the UMCG and works at LACDR as a researcher and teacher for the Pharmacy master’s programme.