An Interesting Perspective

Howdy Bloggers,

Today marks the official kick off of the first installment of this new series titled, “An Interesting Perspective.” Every now and again, this blog will appear to discuss different topics regarding some of the methods of science teaching. For today’s episode, we will discuss what it means to be exemplary within the classroom, and why that is important.

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To start, lets think back to when we were younger. Think about those times in a science classroom when you had a positive learning experience. What stands out? What made you remember that specific time?

If you’re like most viewers, you probably remember because it was something unconventional. Did you build something in a physics class? Make something “go boom” in chemistry? Build a model solar system in geology? Dissect one of your favorite animals in biology?

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Whatever it was for you, you probably remember it because it was a time you teacher went to the margin. We will discuss margins more in depth in the next installment, but that is just one example of how a teacher can be exemplary.

So now, hopefully, you’re wondering what it takes to be truly exemplary. The answer, in its most basic form is simple: foster growth within your students to explore their passions and the world around them. However, the harsh truth is that this isn’t necessarily any easy feat to accomplish.

To help accomplish this goal, we’ve got a few tips:

  • Demonstrate curiosity! You can’t expect your students to be curious if you don’t demonstrate your own curiosity around them
  • Allow your students to experience the learning multiple times. Just simply going over a concept briefly won’t get the students learning. Often times it takes 4 to 6 experiences for the students to fully understand
  • Make the material relatable. If the students can relate to the material, they can find the importance and significance behind it.
  • Make science fun! Don’t be afraid to do things “outside the box”

To be exemplary, you must inspire students to do the material, not just read the material. 

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  1. Dillon, I agree that doing and taking action can have a great impact on a students learning. Lectures have their place, but I do not believe it should be the standard like it is today. Students need to be more active in their own learning, and implementing that change is refreshing.

  2. Katin, adding more concrete examples would have been a good idea. I tried to allude to examples with the activities you may have done when you were in school i.e. building a solar system, dissecting an animal, etc. It may have been more beneficial, however, to be more direct about ways in which you could implement these ideas into the classroom.

  3. Shay, I believe doing is necessary for learning to occur effectively. If you are able to do the material and explain why it is you’re doing what you’re doing, you are understanding the material.

  4. Tom, I agree that there are endless opportunities to teach in new and creative ways. Finding those ways, and being able to use them to communicate effectively with students will really make the material stand out to them.

  5. I liked that you explained that learning is a process of doing, not just being around and listening to someone talk. I love the tips that you gave that really reinforce the ideas behind making students stay engaged and enjoy what they are doing in the classroom. With so many teachers focusing on lecture in a classroom, the idea of doing and taking action in a student’s learning is a refreshing change. The tweet that broke down how many students will actually retain information in a classroom was definitely the most interesting thing for breaking down good ways to teach!

  6. I really enjoyed reading your post. I liked how you made your blogs a series! Your section where you made me think back on my classroom experiences was a great way to get me to think about great science teachers. I though you had some great tips on how to be an exemplary science teacher. It was great that you connected your blog to our readings and class discussions. Also, your pictures and tweets really demonstrated what a good teacher is. My favorite was the one talking about the best ways people retain information. I would suggest maybe having examples of activities that are good in the classroom. Overall great post!

  7. You had so many great suggestions throughout this blog post, I was captivated the whole time! I especially loved the visual about how much students retain after different presentations of material–that can be super helpful for my future classroom! Keeping in mind the different ways students learn will help find different ways to teach it, which as you pointed out, creates exemplary teachers. Well done!

  8. I really like that tweet that shows how much the students will retain from each type of instruction. It makes it very clear that teaching others and doing are the best ways to learn. I remember my senior year in high school I helped out in a freshman biology class and that was when I really understood biology. It was so helpful to be able to teach other people the material because then I had to learn it in a way that I was able to explain it to them. Sometimes this meant I had to learn it outside my typical way of learning because that was not how the other students learned.
    You tips on how to be exemplary were all really helpful on explaining how teachers can try doing this in their classrooms.

  9. Learning should be a hands on experience, learning involves action. I like the graphic wit the percentages, it shows that learning and retention can and need to happen in all different ways. Making the material relatable and attainable goes a long way for students. Things need to be presented in an interesting way, something different from anything else. This is what makes things in our memory. This is why teaching science is so great. There are so many opportunities to teach and think in new creative ways so that your content can stick with your students for a very long time.

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