Good practice: The 6 P’s
What are the 6 p’s of good lab practice ?
Preparation, patience, punctuality, personality, presence, and professionalism!
(Ian Brailsford, Lecturer in Academic Practice)
Preparation: Know the details of the course and what a particular lab entails. Be familiar with the equipment and anticipate possible pitfalls. A meeting with the lecturer or senior tutor may also be required.
Patience: Students need to feel comfortable asking for help and expect that the demonstrator will assist without speaking too quickly or being impatient. Be considerate and empathetic to students who make mistakes so that they can learn from the process.
Punctuality: Be on time for the lab to set a good example for students and focus on the tasks in hand without being rushed or flustered. Let someone know if you are sick or unavoidably detained. If you are not punctual the students might follow suit.
Personality: Student surveys often comment on lab teachers who are friendly, approachable, encouraging and enthusiastic. These attributes motivate students and help them to progress.
Presence: Be fully alert to what is going on in the lab. Students should be aware of the guidance available but also feel that they can proceed independently. Even if students do not require help, the lab teacher should not be doing other work. Good presence = attentiveness.
Professionalism: Students have high expectations of their lecturers and professors, but also have a desire to be well taught in labs (see professionalism).