What inspired you to teach science?
As a young child I always had a curious mind and challenged my thinking as to how things worked or were created. I was always enthusiastic to share my learning, and this has continued to this day. My inspiration to teach science was purely based on
my love of learning and self-efficacy that I can make a difference, in assisting students to become problem solvers and life-long learners.
What aspect of being a teacher/ leader do you find most rewarding?
When I see students being able to demonstrate an understanding of a concept that they may have previously found difficult. I also like to see the students engaged in what they are doing and achieving their personal best. Being part of a student’s
learning journey and knowing that I have contributed in some way gives me a sense of satisfaction. Trialling new strategies and including innovative initiatives I also find to be personally rewarding.
What opportunities do you see to enhance the quality of teaching and learning?
Structure of lessons:
So that students can succeed, teachers can enhance the quality of teaching by providing and communicating clear learning goals and intentions (Marzano, 2017). This will allow students to understand the progression of knowledge that they are expected
I always have my lessons broken up into 3 parts:
- direct instruction
- practicing and deepening
- knowledge application
Using this structure allows for the scientific concepts to be permeated throughout the lesson.
Pracs, pracs, pracs !!!
I will always provide practical opportunities for students to put their skills to the test to prove or disapprove the scientific concept that has been presented. If I am going to introduce a practical activity that I haven’t conducted before,
I will always trial it firstly. The laboratory technicians are the unsung heroes when it comes to teaching Science and as such should be looked after. Making sure that you have ordered your prac activity in a timely manner demonstrates your
respect for your laboratory technicians.
What the teacher does is crucial in motivating students, as the beliefs and values of the students have been inherited from previous experiences in science. I like to emphasis the “why” and contemporary links when teaching as I have
found that this can assist in creating enthusiasm, and therefore enhance the task value. Setting tasks which are achievable with the correct level of adjustment for those students requiring this also enables success. I have utilised Project
based Learning/ Inquiry Based Learning at various times throughout my teaching career to enhance the love for learning and engagement.
Induction programs and Learning walks
Having a mentor is crucial for success whether you are a graduate teacher or experienced teacher. I believe that a formalised and structured induction program supports the science teacher in their new environment. I have also found “learning
walks” invaluable as I get to see my colleague using perhaps a different pedagogical approach that I may not have considered previously.
Do you have advice for others who are on the path to becoming a science teacher or thinking of teaching science?
Make sure that you incorporate as many practical activities which reflect contemporary issues as you can, as students love being able to “see” for themselves real science “in action”. Networking is also really important as
collaboration and sharing of resources will ensure the longevity of your career as a science teacher.