May 24 - 2023

Jaime Barinas, Chemistry teacher at Los Cerros Gymnasium

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I am Jaime Orlando Barinas Olaya, I have a degree in Chemistry from the Universidad Distrital Francisco José De Caldas and a Master's degree in Chemistry from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. I have been working here at Gimnasio de Los Cerros for about 12 years and time has gone by very fast. It seems like yesterday when I started in this beautiful family, I call it family because that's how I feel every time I think of how to describe my stay through the years. 

Since I came to school, many students were afraid to talk about chemistry, as it is considered a difficult and abstract subject in school. Since then, turning students into science enthusiastss has become a challenge for me. Every day I enjoy my classes, showing the affection I feel for my work. It fills me with joy to know that students look for me during breaks or in places other than class to explain doubts about scientific knowledge. Time passes quickly and sometimes I do not have enough time to attend to all my students, but as I start a new day, it is gratifying to arrive at my workplace, the chemistry lab, because I know that I will have a new encounter with the students at some point during the day. 

Skills provided by Chemistry to students

Over the years, I have learned that chemistry is a subject that can provide useful life skills for students. Primarily, it is based on understanding the processes and transformations of matter and its interactions with the world around us. This allows students to develop essential skills for their academic and professional future, as well as for their daily lives. 

Critical thinking 

One of the most important skills students can acquire through the study of chemistry is critical thinking, as it involves problem solving and making decisions based on scientific evidence. Students learn to analyze data, make connections, and make decisions based on logic and evidence. These skills are useful in many fields of study and in everyday life, as they help in making informed and rational decisions. 

Collaborative work and communication

Another important skill that students can develop through the study of chemistry is the ability to collaborate and communicate. Often, this involves working in teams, sharing information to solve problems, and developing new knowledge. Students learn to work in teams, listen to and respect the opinions of others, and present their ideas clearly and effectively. These skills are essential in any career and in everyday life, as they help to communicate successfully and work in a team. 

3. Practical and technical skills

In addition, chemistry can also help students develop practical and technical skills. 

It involves conducting experiments and handling equipment and chemicals. Students learn to follow safety protocols, mix chemicals, and use measuring and analytical instruments. These skills are valuable for any STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) related career, as well as in everyday life, cooking or personal care. 

I do not seek to turn all my students into scientists, but to leave an imprint on them so that they become exemplary citizens, happy and committed to their community. As a teacher, my goal is to foster values and virtues that will promote the mission I am confident that my students will be able to multiply this learning in their personal and professional environment.

In conclusion, from my point of view as a teacher, chemistry is a discipline that can provide students with a number of important life skills. These skills include critical thinking, collaboration and communication, and practical and technical skills. These skills are valuable in any career and in everyday life, and can help students develop a deeper understanding of their environment and the world around them.

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