Teaching Practicum Reflections – Lymphoid Tissues and Lymphocytes

Third time’s a charm – I felt noticeably less anxious standing in front of the classroom.

The objectives were – By the end of this lesson, you will be able to:

  1. Describe the origin, subsequent development, and role of the two major classes of lymphocytes
  2. Differentiate between primary and secondary lymphoid tissues
  3. Relate the structures of secondary lymphoid tissues to their function
  4. Summarize the recirculation of lymphocytes and its relationship to the sequence of events involved in antigen capture and presentation, lymphocyte activation, and the initiation of an adaptive immune response

In order to assess students’¬†prior knowledge, I asked them to identify features that differ between innate and adaptive immunity before we dived into the bridge between the two systems. It seems that jotting their responses on the board and asking them to elaborate on their responses for the benefit of their fellow classmates resonated well with the group. I lectured briefly on the lymphocytes, inviting contribution from the class throughout. The majority of the class was focused on discussion around the secondary lymphoid tissue structures, focusing on their vasculature and cellular composition, and their relationships to tissue/organ function. I helped to provide more structure by assigning a scribe and a presenter to each group, so that students were more likely to feel accountable to stay on task during the time allotted. The participation seemed more lively as their comfort to engage in activities grew over the three lectures. One thing that I would do differently is to have the students hand in their notes taken during the discussion, so that they¬†could be made available to the rest of the class and become part of their study material!

I wish the students had fun and felt that they learned during class, not only from myself but from one another! I’ll have to find out how I did on the program’s instructor evaluation after the term comes to an end.

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