Thank you for your suggestions and comments. Most were really helpful.
Firstly, in my field of microbiology and in the current scientific climate, having 4 first author papers (3 of them were in high impact factor journals) is a very strong record for a graduate student. At least, this was what was told to me verbatim by a tenured Chair of Microbiology at one of the top tier public institutions in the US. However, feel free to correct me if others thing otherwise.
Now, to elaborate on the teaching and mentoring experience that I've had so far Ė Well, as an undergrad in a liberal arts college, my job as a teaching assistant required me to assist students in lab exercises, prepare media, and outside of lab provide any assistance that students might require pertaining to the course in question. I also tutored students in Molecular Biology, Organic Chemistry, General Chemistry, Microbiology, & Genetics. With regards to tutoring, I held two 2-3 hour sessions weekly, assisting students with the coursework and homework. In every session I would have anywhere from 2-8 students to teach. As you are aware, if you have been to a liberal arts college, undergraduate students assist teachers in teaching courses. In most liberal arts colleges, to the best of my knowledge, students do not design courses for other students, particularly in the natural sciences. At least that was the case in my undergrad institution.
As a graduate student, I was a teaching and lab assistant for Medical Microbiology. Here too my responsibilities were primarily to facilitate the labs to be run smoothly. I prepared the media, reagents and other lab-associated equipment. Moreover, as part of my teaching responsibilities, I also served as a tutor by assisting students in answering their questions or tutoring them during the duration of the course. Besides this, I actively mentored 3 undergrad students, 1 graduate student, and 1 high school student in conducting research in lab. With regards to the undergraduate students, I mentored each of them for a period of ~ 10 weeks in 2006, 2007, & 2010. By mentoring, I mean that I, along with a colleague, designed a research project for each of them and taught them the intricacies of the protocols, techniques and provided input and hands on research experience to them. I personally oversaw their projects and guided them through that and they would reports to me with their data and we would discuss it and plan subsequent experiments together. So here it was a very intimate interaction, akin to what is the philosophy of SLACs/LACs. With regards to the graduate student, I was directly responsible for introducing her to the research in lab and overseeing her performance, providing critique, suggestions, and planning experiments with her. This was also for a period of ~ 10 weeks. However, for the high school student, it lasted only about 2-3 weeks and my responsibilities were essentially the same as they were when I mentored the graduate and undergraduate students.
Additionally, I tutored 2 students, one on one, during the entire duration of a semester in microbiology & organic chemistry respectively. With one of them, I would meet twice weekly for ~ 2-3 hour sessions and teach him microbiology and this spanned the entire semester (~ 3 months) in the Fall of 2011. With the other student, I would meet about once a month (~ 3 hours/session), over the course of the entire semester, and teach her aspects of organic chemistry that she was having difficulty comprehending. This also lasted an entire semester
Regarding middle school students, I was invited to speak to speak to them about science, specifically microbiology, and the importance of science in our society today. Besides this, I assisted them (~15-20 middle school students) in actively conducting research in my lab. However, both of these were short stints and did not exceed a week.
All in all, I have been fortunate to be able to tutor students in courses or mentor them in research. However, Iíve never formally taught an undergraduate class for an entire semester. Nonetheless, in my current position as a post-doc, Iím soon going to be teaching undergrads this semester. Moreover, Iím going to be doing the same in the coming summer and fall semesters and this teaching is going to be more intensive whereby I will be teaching a group of ~ 5-10 students weekly (similar class size to that of a liberal arts college). Iím going to continue to do this for the entire duration of my post-doc career. Additionally, Iíve been actively looking at local community colleges where I could possibly teach as an adjunct. I would like to do this also for the entire time that Iím a post-doc Fortunately for me my mentor is very understanding and is actively pushing me to commence teaching as soon as possible, besides conducting research. This is particularly important for me because I find teaching extremely invigorating and it actually potentiates my research productivity.
Last but not the least, Iíve applied for fellowships that will enable me to conduct research and teach as a post-doc. Iím waiting to hear back from them. If this particular one works out then I will be a Visiting Assistant Professor during 2015-2016 at a highly selective liberal arts college (Iíve already worked the details of this out with the Biology department of that liberal arts college). However, it depends entirely on my acquisition of the fellowship. Also if anyone here is aware of other post-doctoral fellowships that have both a research and a teaching component, and could direct me to those, I would be exceedingly grateful to you guys.
Thanks for all the advice and suggestions. I appreciate them immensely.