One nominator notes Leznoff consistently receives a high score for teaching ability in the challenging CHEM 121 course. Students also heap praise in course evaluations, saying he shows tremendous enthusiasm, interest and passion, which makes class enjoyable, interactive and exciting.
“Dr. Leznoff displays a very contagious passion for teaching,” says one nominator. “[He] has an ability to motivate his students and encourage them to think critically, such that they gain a stronger understanding of chemical properties and scientific concepts.”
An important aspect of teaching is transferring knowledge to students and helping them understand concepts, but Leznoff says imparting an interest in the subject is most important.
“It doesn’t matter if they are an A student or a C-minus student,” says Leznoff. “If they leave my class thinking, ‘This is tough stuff and I had to study really hard, but wow, this is really interesting and now I see how important it is,’ that to me can be just as critical as understanding all the details.”
He says seeing the students oozing with excitement after class is the most rewarding aspect of teaching—at least as much as witnessing the proverbial ‘light bulbs’ switching on in the classroom.
“The ultimate goal is to present intellectually challenging, rigorous and informative lecture material that is also enjoyable and memorably a ‘favourite’.”