Redefining teaching: Being an Exemplary Science Teacher

I’m sure everyone has a teacher that you probably will remember for the rest of your life – be it your English teacher, your soccer coach or a band instructor. Usually, the teachers that you remember are the ones that make a big impact on your life. It is true that many students develop interest and decide to pursue the field their “favorite” teacher taught.

Unfortunately, despite my love for science, science classes have never been my favorite. I would watch Science videos in my free time and study the materials on my own rather than listen to my teacher in class.

This is why I am so determined to become an exemplary science teacher.

Science can be such an exciting subject – when you teach it right. To start off, let’s watch this video by Azul Terronez.

So, what can you do to be a great teacher? How can you be an inspiration to your students? How can you be an exemplary science teacher?

#1: Explore & Experiment

Engage your students by exploring science through the environment around you. Allowing students to see how science relates to their everyday life can really help to spark their interest.

Some great examples you can incorporate into your classroom are:

  • Going outdoors: exploring the different type of plants, finding out what species live in your school pond
  • Designing their own experiment: allow students to explore their own area of interest
  • Start your lesson with a demonstration: excite the students and ask questions!

#2: Giving power to the students

It can be so powerful to let students “teach” the class. It is a great way to show that we, as teachers, are learning with them, not just teaching them. Giving the students power allows them to feel more valued, not just as a student but a member of the learning community. Students will be inspired by the idea that learning is important – not just for them, but for us as well.

An easy way to do this in your classroom can be to make your students be an expert on a topic: they can teach it to the class, and you!

Embrace their knowledge, and they will embrace their learning.

#3: Use alternative forms of assessment

We already know that exams are not the best way to evaluate student’s learning. Remember that we should be assessing them FOR learning, rather than only focusing on assessments OF learning. It can not only help the students to learn further but also help us to understand where the students are, and what we can do to help them learn.

There are a variety of alternative forms of assessment:

  • Model-making: helps students to visualize concepts, a hands-on learning experience
  • Investigations: forming their own questions and using the scientific method
  • Applications: how does it relate to their life?
  • Debates: sharing and evaluating their own ideas, exercise their skill and knowledge
  • Group Projects: encourages teamwork and communication

It is vital that we, as educators, make sure that the students are engaged, involved and curious. Let’s do our part in creating a better classroom for our students, by preparing ourselves to be an exemplary science teacher.


  1. Hey Woojin,

    I really enjoyed the Ted Talk you included in this post, it was my first time seeing it. I also really liked what you had to say about giving the power back to the students in the classroom. The quote at the end, “embrace their knowledge, and they will embrace their learning” is really powerful. Did you find that somewhere, or is it yours? I would love to know.

    • Thanks Aaron! I’m glad you found it interesting, all the statements that the students wrote really stood out to me and helped me to solidify what kind of a teacher I want to be. As for the quote, I think I stumbled upon a similar kind of a saying somewhere, but I wrote it. Glad you liked it!

  2. Great job with the blog post Woojin! I really enjoyed the part where you talked about encouraging students to actually SEE science and not just hear about it. Aside from that you seem like a big advocate for alternative assessments. Do you think there is a space in a classroom for “traditional” assessments (multiple choice)? or do you think we should get rid of them completely?

    • Thanks Mason! I definitely think that traditional assessments can be a good way to gauge where the student is at, or if they have understood the material. I don’t think we should get rid of them completely, as it can help them to prepare for the bigger exams that they have to take (States Testing). However, I think that it is important that it is not the only form of assessment. I think it is important for them to show that they not only understand the material but also that they can apply it to their lives and see the connection to the real world.

  3. I found it really interesting that science was not always your favorite subject! What changed? Did you have an exemplary science teacher that came around later and changed your thoughts on the subject?

    My favorite part about your post was the idea of alternative forms of assessments. Not all students are great test takers, so often times a written test is not a fair evaluation of how a child is doing. Doing activities such as debates, projects, model-making, etc. are great alternatives that might make students less anxious, but still test their knowledge on a particular subject. Overall, great post!

    • Thank you Shelby! I’ve always loved Science because I found it interesting and fun to learn. I’ve never had exemplary teachers that really stood out to me, but the curriculum we had at our school allowed me to create my own experiments and explore my area of interest. I think that’s one of the reasons why I ended up picking this field to pursue. I would love to be remembered as the reason why they enjoyed Science classes. Yes, I think using alternative assessments would definitely benefit both the students and the teacher as well!

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