Congratulations! Your hard work has paid off and you have been asked to present your research in a poster session or symposium at a professional conference. Now what? Beyond getting your presentation prepared, what else should you consider in order to guarantee the best impression on fellow students and faculty?
After 30 years of working for the Lincoln Public Schools (LPS; Nebraska) as a high school teacher and a curriculum developer, I recently made the jump to higher education. My professional identity during my time with LPS was centered around the teaching of psychology. This change from secondary school education to a university has given me time to pause and reflect on those 30 years. Often overlooked in importance, reflection is a good practice for all teachers. During the past three decades, the teaching of high school psychology has come a long way.
“Your child is bright. He could grow up to become the President of the United States.” I was in the fifth grade when I heard those words from my teacher. Because my parents spoke only Spanish, I was asked to be the translator at my own parent-teacher conference. I relayed the words to my parents with mixed emotions. I was proud hearing them, but also troubled. I knew at an early age I could never become the President of the United States—I was an undocumented immigrant. Yes, I was bright and I had goals and ambitions, but I was uncertain whether I could ever reach them. Through hard work and perseverance, my family earned our permanent resident card and, in 2009, we became U.S. citizens.
In previous years, the day that the psychology internship match results were released brought a range of emotions: happiness for those who were moving on to the next phase in their training and a deep sense of frustration that so many students did not get matched because there were not enough positions available.