2023 Reg Friesen Lecture

About Yvonne Clifford:

Yvonne Clifford has taught chemistry for the majority of her 30-year career at Jacob Hespeler Secondary School in Cambridge, Ontario.  She was awarded the 2015 Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC) Beaumier Award for High School/CÉGEP Chemistry Teachers.

After attending her first ChemEd in 2013, in Waterloo, Ontario, Yvonne became a regular ChemEd presenter.  Yvonne has published numerous articles for CHEM 13 NEWS Magazine and now writes for ChemEdX.  Some of you may recognize her NoFeArScience Twitter handle. Yvonne is retiring this year, and hopes to be able to share her love of learning by teaching aspiring science educators who are in the process of completing their Bachelor of Education Courses.  [Plan B –  Stand-up Comedian–Telling Chemistry Jokes unless all the good one’s argon!]

Yvonne Clifford as a cartoon

Plenary Description: “The Evolution of a Chemistry Teacher”

While I believe I could have chosen most any career in the maths or sciences, I am very grateful to have become a chemistry teacher.  Like all educators, the students I have encountered and the content that I try to present in a creative way has made each day of teaching unique and enjoyable.  I’d like to think that, most days, the majority of my students enjoy coming into my classroom knowing that while my style is neither polished nor seamless, my students can count on at least one demonstration, experiment, story, humorous anecdote, or some kind of engaging activity to spice the class up.  

I approach teaching chemistry as a calling meant to meet the needs of all students, and not just future engineers, nurses, and doctors.  I encourage all types of learners to be their best and structure my courses so students can earn marks for not just the predictably difficult theoretical foundations of chemistry but the equally important practical lab work, also.  My hope is to “raise all boats” in terms of peoples’ knowledge of the critical basics of science literacy.  I earnestly desire to make people more intelligent consumers and foster a genuine care for our environment. Please feel free to visit @NOFeArScience (Twitter) for a taste of how my classroom runs. Join me in the plenary to learn how I emerged from my “turnip green” teaching cocoon to the less naïve and perhaps wiser, more efficient, more spontaneous, and more caring teacher that I hope I have become at this stage of my learning. 

Read more about the history of the Reg Friesen lecture at ChemEd

Yvonne’s ChemEd X articles

The Diet Coke And Mentos Reaction – Having a Literal Blast

The BCE (“Best Class EVER”) – Dry Ice Day

A Variation On An Age-Old Adage—Absence Does Not Make the Mark Grow Longer!

Motivating Students While In COVID Times: Striving “Above and Beyond” For Students And Teachers Alike

Walking The Teacher Tightrope Between Providing Professional Grace and Rigor — Evaluation In The New World Of COVID!

The Trials and Tribulations of a Teacher During COVID Times!

Yvonne’s Chem 13 News articles

Communicative and therapeutic benefits of stamping [Dec 2018/Jan 2019]

What are you doing for Mole Day? [October 2018]

Polymer fun – front cover  [October 2018]

The toothpaste challenge  [September 2018]

Growing copper crystals – front cover [March 2018]

Poisons and poisonings – Death by Stealth – Book Review [Dec 2017/Jan 18]

The logistics of running a practical exam (Part 2) | Chem 13 News Magazine | University of Waterloo (uwaterloo.ca) [Nov 2016]

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Teacher replaces written final with a practical lab exam (Part 1) | Chem 13 News Magazine | University of Waterloo (uwaterloo.ca) [Oct 2016]

Two weeks theory followed by two weeks of labs [Dec 2014/ Jan 2015]

Why study chemistry  [Nov 2014]

NO FeAr Science Club [Oct 2014]

Crystal craziness in Clifford’s chemistry class [May 2012]

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