I am a public school science teacher who gets excited about science. I love to share my sense of wonder and inquisitiveness with students. My mission in life is to help young people look at the world around them with inquiring minds and become lifelong learners with an appreciation for the beauty and wonder that surrounds them every day.
Abilene Christian University - Bachelors, Interdisciplinary Studies Secondary Education, Physical Science, Life/Earth Science
What is your teaching philosophy?
I can't help but see the wonder and beauty that surrounds us in nature. Many people walk through life with their heads down or focused on their screens and never notice the amazingness that can exist in even the most mundane things that nature has to offer. My teaching philosophy is to help open students' eyes to those things, to create an inquisitiveness and appreciation for our world and to help them to become self-motivated lifelong learners.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
My first goal is to get to know my students, their interest levels in the subject at hand, and their learning styles. The more I know about a student's interests, the more relevant I can make what we are learning.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
In my opinion, that is the goal of education. My job as a teacher is to show my students how to learn. I equip them with certain skills, and model how to use those tools to pursue advancing their own knowledge. I want my students to be an active part of their education and not just receivers of information.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Success is a great motivator. I believe students need to experience success in order to stay engaged. If a student is bogged down in a very difficult concept, then we need to back off and approach the topic from a different angle and in smaller steps that can be mastered before building on those steps until we ultimately master what frustrated us before.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Sometimes it's beneficial to start over and lay a firm foundation before continuing to slog away at something difficult. I believe that approaching the problem in small steps that can be mastered before building on those concepts is critical. If a student fully understands each step along the way, then the concept as a whole becomes a piece of cake. It is important to do this in the student's learning style. What works for one student may only confuse another.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading in science is often like reading an unfamiliar language. A student may be able to technically read the passage but may not have the background knowledge necessary to fully understand what they read. It's also important for a student to recognize for themselves what they did not understand and not just dismiss it, but to continue to engage in the passage to fill in the blanks as much as possible. This takes modeling on the part of the teacher. It does not come naturally, but can be taught by showing students how to do it.