The key to success in my classes is to fully embrace the scientific method, whether that means completing homework or conducting a lab or studying for a test. Be curious. Ask thoughtful questions. Check to see if something makes sense, and if it doesn’t, ask yourself why. Organize your information (in a problem, on a calendar, while reviewing). Practice repetition until you’re sure of your results.
My favorite techniques for motivating student interest include: (1) finding ways in which the material we are studying relates to life in the “real world”; (2) working pop culture references into my physics problems; (3) making really bad puns and laughing at them; (4) coming up with bonus opportunities that require extra thought or skill above and beyond what is usually required; and (5) speaking individually to my students about the positive qualities they already possess and the potential for improvement that I see in them.
The Golden Rule is deeply ingrained in me because it speaks of what I believe is the key to rising to your best self: empathy. Understanding the world from the other person’s point of view. Caring about something and someone beyond yourself.
I also believe in leaving things as good or better than you found them. Pick up after someone else, even if it’s not your responsibility, because we all benefit from this.
Don’t give up. Keep trying, even when it looks hopeless, because looks can be deceiving. Be tenacious and determined, and you will surprise even yourself with what you can achieve.