Exemplary Science Teaching
Standardized education is an experience most people in the United States can recall. Eight hours a day, spent in a building where you are expected to memorize and regurgitate information. By the time students have made it to high school, the curiosity and excitement they had for learning as elementary students has been extinguished – they are only trying to graduate and make it through the system. Teachers often begin to lose their spark as well, teaching to the standards so their students will perform well on standardized tests. However, this is not learning. Teachers and parents alike can agree that they want the best for their students, but the standard way of teaching isn’t cutting it. Creating bonds with students and making memorable classrooms is key to truly educating students, especially in science. It is easy to get caught up in the scientific jargon, but science is not all about memorizing vocabulary and cycles. So how can we change this as future educators?
Becoming an Exemplary Science Teacher
Teaching science can be so much more than having students routinely do worksheets and labs. How about allowing students to explore their curiosities? Or creating an atmosphere that students look forward to?
What is an Exemplary Teacher?
An exemplary teacher is someone who can captivate students past what their next grade is. A teacher who can connect with students in ways that matter more than a report card and encourage genuine learning and care.
Memorable Science Inquiry Activities
This activity may sometimes be referred to as a class debate or classroom court. In these projects, students would choose a topic of scientific debate and defend it against another group with scientific research. This would make students use critical thinking and problem solving skills as well as teach them how actual science research is done. This educates students on how science is authentically done.
A class pet can be a great way to engage students in scientific observation. Say for example, you got caterpillar eggs and watched the life cycle of a butterfly from the start. This would give students a real-life opportunity to witness metamorphosis as well as encourage them to make observations as the critter grows.
Setting up a fake crime scene in your class is an excellent opportunity to get your students using critical thinking skills. The students are given a problem with only the facts in front of them. Given the rise of people interested in true crime, this also may be a topic of interest for students. They would need to use observational skills and argumentation to be able to solve the mystery following closely in how science is conducted.
How do I plan to become an Exemplary Teacher?
With Inquiry based learning I hope to create an exciting class where students feel free to share their thoughts about science and are encouraged to be curious. I want to connect with my students emotionally, I care deeply about who they are, their hobbies, family, and interests. I believe real life examples, hands-on activities, and discussion is crucial to teaching science and leaves a deeper impact than the science classrooms I have experienced. My biggest goal as of now is obtaining a class pet in the future. My hope is to connect my lessons to my students and have them look forward to science everyday.
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