Your Students Deserve the Best.. So Give it To Them!

The goal of every task is to be successful and good at that task. So logically, every teacher wants to be successful and good at teaching. But how do you know if you are a good teacher? How do you know if you are an exemplary teacher? What does it even mean to be an exemplary teacher? And how do we become exemplary science teachers?

In this blog we will answers these questions and provide suggestions for becoming an exemplary science teacher. Hopefully you will be able to incorporate these ideas into your classroom and see the positive results for yourself!

How Do You Know if You are An Exemplary Teacher?

The best way to asses your skill as a teacher is to take a look at your students. A great teacher will show through the attitudes, actions and accomplishments of their students

  1. Your students will be Curious

A curious student is the result of an interesting teacher! A curious student will ask questions, seek out new understandings and expand on what they have already learned. Curiosity leads to critical thinking and questioning, both essential life skills.

2. Your students will be Confident

A confident student is the result of an encouraging teacher! A confident student will participate in class discussions, they will not be afraid to ask questions. They will offer to help others who do not understand, and most importantly, they will believe in themselves. As the saying goes “CONFIDENCE IS KEY”, and this remains true in the success of a student.

3. Your students will be Content

A content student is the result of a successful teacher. A content student will not fear that they are not learning enough, they will not resent their teacher for unfair expectations and they will not be disappointed by yet another boring, uneventful class they are forced to sit through.

What Does it Mean to be a Exemplary Teacher?

An exemplary teacher is one that can adapt to the needs of every student, while keeping them engaged, excited and learning. An exemplary teacher goes above and beyond what is expected of them. They look past just the simple requirements of common core and standardized testing, rather focusing on their students progress and the goal of creating a life long learner.

How do You Become an Exemplary Science Teacher?

  1. Stray away from a lecture based classroom

Lectures do not allow students to exercise their knowledge, explore their own ideas, or use their creativity. Instead, they are forced to sit quietly and listen to a concept be explained. While this is sometimes necessary and can be useful, lectures should not be used as a sole teaching method.

2. Do hands on activities!

Hands on activities, such as labs and demonstrations can allow students to experience a concept in a new way. Hands on activities

  • Give the students personal experiences with a concept
  • Allow students to demonstrate their knowledge
  • Provide an opportunity for questioning and growth
  • Are exciting and give students an enjoyable experience to remember
  • Force students to use their critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Can be used to emphasize team work

3. Make science interesting

We all think science is cool (or we would not be science educators!). However, not all students feel this way. Likely, simply reading a book or listening to a lecture would bore these students. They will quickly lose interest and therefore lose an opportunity to learn! Instead, try teaching using

  • Illustrations or videos
  • Student-driven projects
  • Class Discussions and Debates
  • Story telling
  • Incorporation of student hobbies
  • Demonstrations

Here, Science Teacher Tyler DeWitt explains the importance of making science interesting in his classroom.

I had great science teachers as a student, which have inspired me to pursue a degree in science. Had I not been so fortunate, it is likely I would not have found my passion for science or had become a science teacher. With this in mind, it is my goal to do the same for my students by using these techniques and ideas.


  1. Hey Natalie! Wonderful post! I loved seeing your descriptions on how you know if you’re an exemplary teacher. We talk a lot about how to be an exemplary teacher, but how will we know when we get there? With that being said, I also enjoyed reading over your tips on how to be an exemplary science teacher. I definitely agree that the best activities for learning are hands on. Do you have any ideas of interesting hands-on activities that you might utilize in your classroom? Keeping our students engaged is incredibly important and I would love to know what kind of strategies you plan on using to keep your future students engaged in their learning!

    • Thank you! I think many times, teachers forget to ask for their students for feedback. This is very unfortunate! If anyone knows the positives and negatives of the teachers work, it is their students! One of the best memories I have from my high school education was the activities I did in my science classes. I would love to create similar activities in my own classroom! My favorite activity was a “puzzle” that required us to take all the individual elements and create the periodic table on our own. This activity was done before any lessons about the periodic table, so we had to use our best educated guess on how the table should be arranged. This became a very meaningful activity in our learning. Another activity I would love to recreate is our science fair. For our final project, teams of two came up with a scientific concept to be demonstrated through a quick experiment or activity. We then took a day and had a science fair for the elementary students. I still remember how fun that was. I hope to create experiences my students will be able to look back on fondly as well.

  2. Amazing post Natalie! It was great to see how you talked about looking at your students to check if you’re being an exemplary teacher. It is definitely important and a great way to reassure yourself that you’re on the right path in helping your students. I agree that using hands-on activities will be a great way to excite students and make science interesting for them. How do you plan on involving the students in the activities if they resist to participate?

    • Students who refuse to participate and learn will definitely be a difficult situation. It is almost counteractive to force them to participate, because this will make them resent to activity and the class. However, I would explain to them why this activity is important, what they would gain from participating and that if they choose not to participate, that they will lose that learning opportunity and the points attached. But for future activities, I would try and find something that was interesting to that student to hopefully get them to be intrigued and willing to try.

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