The Hard Truths About Our Own Career

Science Teaching is in Fact NOT a Cake Walk

Throughout our pre-teaching career, we learn a lot about content.  Content, not only in science, but about our teaching career.  We learn a lot about misconceptions, standardized tests, inquiry, and troubles in the classroom.

We don’t simply walk into the school in the morning, lecture, and go home.  There are so many different layers to science teaching and that’s what I want to tackle here.

In this video, Danny Doucette talks about how students can use science and critical thinking in their daily lives.

What Can We Do?

Tackling these big topics is a lot to deal with, but it’s nothing we can’t do.  We prepare out entire academic career to teach students science and we shouldn’t let anything hinder our excitement about it.


  • Test students to see where their prior knowledge is
  • Tackle misconceptions by doing student-driven
  • Use technology for students to research own misconceptions

Standardized Tests

  • UNcover the material, simply lecturing about science topics will not do
  • Make sure students have a strong background in your topics
  • Motivate students to do well in these standardized tests to have successful academic careers
  • Understand that standardized tests have biases


  • Don’t simply lecture at students… they will NOT learn that way
  • Engage them in real-world issues where they can do research
  • Don’t give them step-by-step labs… that’s not inquiry
  • Focus on the material, not the grade

Troubles in the Classroom

  • Be prepared for students to come to the classroom with their troubles, they’re not easy to leave behind
  • Don’t lash back at students, it will only elevate the problem
  • Listen, understand where they are coming from, comfort them
  • Know what resources to give to students

Be Prepared for the Rest of Your Life

Teaching will be a fun, rewarding career path.  But it will not be the easiest thing you do.  Understand that you are not simply teaching content, you are teaching the future and their outlook on education.  It is our responsibility to acknowledge that not every student will LOVE and pursue a career in science, but we will need to teach them critical thinking skills, collaborative work, fact checking their sources to make sure it’s credible, and to to be lifelong learners.

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