When I was growing up, I desperately wanted to be a teacher. It’s something I have always known I wanted to be. I always enjoyed playing school as a child and especially loved talking about all the neat things my teachers were doing. Science was never on my radar. In fact, growing up I don’t recall a single thing from any of my science classes other than it was a “boy” subject. While the teachers were good, the lessons didn’t create enough engagement for me. My sister was pretty good at science, but she was always considered a “Tom-boy” anyway.
As I began college, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to major in except that if I was going to pay all this money to attend college, I needed to make sure it was something I was going to enjoy doing the rest of my life. I still had a desire to be a teacher, but my parents were quick to remind me that “teachers don’t make money.”
Given that reminder, I continued to ponder on what major I wanted to focus on during my foundational years, taking some basics including a course in biology. My biology professor was a woman who was extremely passionate about the subject. Her behavior, the way she moved around the room, the way she spoke about the things we learned all changed the way I looked at science – it was a pivotal moment for me. At the end of that course, she even recommended me to be a tutor for her course.
As time went on, I enjoyed being a tutor and realized that to me, I needed to do what I loved and enjoyed more than what “makes me money.” I needed to make a difference in the world, where I can help others reach their fullest potential.
I realized that not only did I have a passion for teaching and children, but I also had an intense love for science. So I pursued to become a science teacher thanks to that one amazing professor.
But along the way, I also learned that not everyone loves science… maybe they had a similar situation growing up and feeling like it wasn’t for them or maybe due to a lack of engaging science curriculum in school.
I also came to realize as I was in the classroom as a teacher myself, not everyone has an in-depth knowledge of science or feels comfortable teaching science, even though they are required to in most elementary schools as they are teaching the entire curriculum and not just their area of expertise. Maybe you even feel that way – your background was focused on teaching and liberal arts, yet you need to give your students a strong foundation in science as well.
I have also learned that there are STILL some serious misconceptions about science being a “boy” subject and I am on a mission to change that!
We all know that reading and math are a priority in our schools, as they should be. However, with our world becoming more technologically advanced we also need to be incorporating more science into our classrooms. As the rest of the world catches up to us or even bypasses us (for instance, Japan, Canada, Australia, The United Kingdom, Germany and many others. See the chart below.), we need to focus in areas that are going to continue to help us have that edge.
With the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and STEM (science technology engineering mathematics) shaping our education, we need to make sure that we are up-to-date with our understanding of and curriculum materials in the sciences so we can better serve our children and their future (and ultimately our country’s economy too).
With all this being said, I have decided that I need to focus on my passion – Science – and helping all of the teachers I serve with the best possible teaching materials, classroom activities, and support to achieve science mastery in the classroom.
This means going forward that I will be focusing on NGSS and STEM. There may be times when I will also talk about math solely, or engineering solely, to make sure I support you on the other components of STEM. And since NGSS has an integrative piece, I will provide great content and tools for how to integrate reading or writing into those areas.
By narrowing my focus to this specific subject area, this allows me to put out more high quality, engaging lessons and activities to better serve you and your students and ensure you meet all of your classroom learning objectives without using all of your time creating these sometimes more complex lessons. This will be activities that aren’t surface learning but truly comprehensive, deep learning.
I want to help you feel comfortable with and excited about teaching science and know that your students are learning exactly what they need to know in an engaging and worthwhile way, by being your go-to resource for all things science, grades 3-5! I am also here to support you with any questions about teaching science, STEM, and/or NGSS, so please reach out if you have questions.