Over the past 10 years I’ve taken my love of teaching chemistry to the community and volunteer bringing hands-on learning to schools, organizations, libraries, the children’s hospital, and television science segments on ABC affiliate stations (WZZM 13 in Grand Rapids, Michigan and ABC7 in Fort Myers, Florida). I present a blend of smart and entertaining hands-on science activities that motivate kids to continually question and investigate their world. My encouragement is to never stop being curious and never stop seeking the answers.
In addition, I utilize mobile technology in my teaching in the chemistry classroom, laboratory, and science outreach. I’ve authored several technology grants and have led several workshops at local colleges and schools teaching on the integration of mobile technology in the classroom.
I started into the education program at MTU as a junior as a result of two friends majoring in mathematics that convinced me to join them. I really wasn’t expecting to go into teaching. I loved chemistry and was planning on a career as a research chemist. Standing in front of a group of people was always so fearful to me. As I got farther into the education program, I started to discover how much I was enjoying my classes. It got me thinking how many college chemistry professors really don’t know how to teach. This motivated me more in the education program at MTU. I started to feel like I could be that change and teach chemistry better than it was taught to me. The education program at MTU gave me that “face your fear and find your passion” moment. I faced my fear of being in front of a group of people and found a passion that made everyday of going to work since, a joy.
My advice to current teachers is to do what you love. If you don’t find a love in your subject or in teaching it, don’t force it. The teaching world is filled with too many who complain about teaching, students, and the hard work for so little pay. Yes, the pay is little and yes, the work is hard… but if you love it, you will not regret a day of your career choice. You will make a difference to the world because you’re giving the good part of yourself, the happy part.
Always be yourself and do not teach a particular style just because that’s how you were taught. Teaching is always evolving and be ready for constant change. The best experiences you can bring to the classroom are your life experiences. Use your personality and life experiences to make the best environment for learning. In the early years of your teaching, keep learning more hands-on about your subject and education. Substitute teach, participate in research, attend workshops and seminars, become active at your school. And if you have time, volunteer in your community.
If you’re enjoying teaching, then your students are probably enjoying learning. And if your nervous, that is good because nerves means you care. The day I’m not nervous or a bit scared to go into a classroom might be the day I might be ready to retire from teaching.
Amy Lark, Assistant Professor in Applied Science Education, was one of the Michigan Tech faculty members to receive an award exceeding $5,000 from the Michigan Space Grant Consortium for her program “Teacher Training: The Next Generation Science Standards in Theory and Practice”. Click here to see a full list of recipients.
NASA implemented the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program in 1989 to provide funding for research, education and public outreach in space-related science and technology. The program has 52 university-based consortia in the United States and Puerto Rico.
As an affiliate of the Michigan Consortium, Michigan Tech has been an active participant in MSGC for approximately 20 years. MSGC funding is administered through MTU’s Pavlis Honors College. For more information, contact Paige Hackney in the Pavlis Honors College, call 7-4371, or visit the MSGC website.
Drs. Dare and Ellis of the Teacher Education program in Cognitive and Learning Sciences have published new research in the International Journal of STEM Education. Along with their co-author, Dr. Gillian Roehrig at the University of Minnesota, Drs. Dare and Ellis explore middle school teachers’ experiences in their first-time implementation of integrated STEM curriculum units. This article is publicly available through Open Access.
William Bertoldi graduated with a BS in Chemistry in 1980, with Secondary Teacher Certification in Chemistry and Mathematics. Bertoldi spent 30 years teaching in Kingsford Middle and High Schools. In 1996 he established a student organization called “Rockets for Schools,” for which he still serves as advisor. The group designs, builds and launches high-powered rockets. They have performed rocket launches at ceremonies nationally and have been featured in three commercials showcasing student work and have appeared on the Science Channel.
Of his induction into the Academy, Bertoldi says “It was a real honor to receive the award from Michigan Tech. It meant a lot to me and things were so very nice at the dinner. Michigan Tech gave me such a great education and was of such great help to me throughout my career.”
Sarah Gerborkoff, a science teacher at Houghton Middle School, earned a BS in Geology in 2000 with Secondary Teacher Certification in Earth Science and Science.
Since 2013 she has served at Houghton Middle School as the Lead Teacher for the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative Project. On three different occasions, she served as the advisor for the Lexus Scholastic Eco Challenge team. Her 2014 team that focused on invasive species and her 2015 team that studies the remediation of stamp sands both won a $10,000 national prize.
Yoneé Bryant-Kuiphoff began her career as a science teacher at Milwood Magnet School in Kalamazo in 1993. She eventually became lead science teacher and assisted with staffing and curriculum for the new magnet school. A 1986 graduate of Cornerstone University, she received a master’s in Applied Science Education from Michigan Tech in 2014.
Since 2008 she has served as the Middle School Director for the Michigan Science Teachers Association. From 2011-14, as a member of the first cohort of the Michigan Teacher Excellence Project, Bryant-Kuiphoff participated in the collaboration of Michigan Tech and urban schools to improve Earth Science instructional practices.
Shari Stockero, director of teacher education, in the Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences says the newest inductees are certainly due the recognition.
“These individuals have represented our program and Michigan Tech well. Teachers do not often receive the recognition they deserve, so we are honored to be able to present them with this acknowledgement of their contributions to K-12 education.”
The Academy of Educators gives public recognition to Michigan Tech alumni and alumnae who have brought distinction to themselves, Michigan Tech and the Teachers Education program through their participation, commitment, outstanding leadership and/or public service in the field of K-12 education.
Michigan Tech is inviting K-12 teachers and administrators to a workshop in August, to help them find ways to bring computer science and programming into their classrooms. The workshop, supported through a Google CS4HS (Computer Science for High Schools) grant, exposes teachers to exciting new ways to bring computer science into schools.
This is the third year Google has supported a computer science workshop at Michigan Tech for teachers.
“As computer technology becomes an ever more powerful and pervasive factor in our world, students need instruction in the creative problem-solving skills that are the basis of computer science,” explains Linda Ott, (CS) director of the workshop.
“Software design and programming skills, along with an understanding of the principles of computer systems and applications, are tremendously valuable in a wide range of future careers, and the problem-solving process of computational thinking can be used to enrich a wide range of K-12 courses. New tools and teaching materials make it possible to bring the creative spirit of computing into K-12 classrooms.
“From a teacher’s perspective, however, bringing computer science into the classroom can seem intimidating,” Ott goes on to say.
“We want to help teachers develop confidence in their own computer science literacy and help them craft a computing curriculum that meets their teaching missions.”
The workshop will cover a basic understanding of computer science principles, help teachers integrate programming into new and existing courses, disseminate K-12 computer programing course materials developed at Michigan Tech and provide tools for increasing interest in computing among young women.
Participants will receive lunches, a stipend to help with travel and other expenses, and a year of assistance in course development from a Michigan Tech computer science graduate student. Out-of-town teachers will receive free accommodation at the Magnuson Franklin Square Inn.
For more information or to apply, click here.
Every year the Network of Michigan Educators invites the Teacher Education faculty to nominate and honor their top pre-service teachers as “Teachers of Promise”. This year the faculty nominated Kaitlin Kogut, who completed her final semester with the program as a student teacher in Houghton High School. Kaitlin completed her degree in Biological Sciences Secondary Education and Integrated Science Teaching. She is also a member of Michigan Tech Leading Scholars.
Kaitlin accepted her award at the Annual Recognition Banquet and Conference in Lansing last month, stating “I learned about advocating for students through social media, alternative school models aimed at reaching every student, and digitizing the classroom. I was able to participate in conversation in each of these sessions using the knowledge I gained in Teacher Education classes at Michigan Tech.” Congratulations, Kaitlin!
The Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences (CLS) made important changes that will impact departments and faculty who have offered Teacher Professional Development courses or State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs) for teachers attending workshops or events.
It is hoped these changes will make things easier for you and your attendees and also provide teachers with graduate credit or SCECHs for their continuing education.
CLS is now accepting online proposals for Teacher Professional Development courses for institutes to be held next summer. These courses provide graduate credit to participants and allow you to pass the handling of course logistics off to CLS’s Teacher Professional Development Coordinator, Rachelle Gariepy. We deal with collecting teacher applications for your course, assuring students are registered as degree seeking or non-degree seeking students, verifying teaching certificates, working with teachers to gain admittance into the Graduate School, arranging housing and meal coordination and assisting with advertising.
Complete the link below to request your educational offering for teachers takes advantage of these services. In addition, if you would like to have your course advertised at the Michigan Science Teachers Association or the National Science Teachers Association annual conferences, course proposals must be submitted prior to Jan. 27. In order to offer a Teacher Professional Development course, you must fill out this proposal.
The CLS department will now be working with the state to offer approved SCECH programs in which teachers are the primary focus. Historically, faculty have worked with the Copper Country Intermediate School District (CCISD) to provide this service. SCECHs are used by teachers to apply toward renewing their teaching certificate or advancing from a provisional to a professional level teaching certificate. If you are interested in applying for a State-approved SCECHs program, contact Gariepy. Be advised that all SCECH proposals submitted to the CCISD in the future will be returned to the CLS department for processing.
If you have any questions about how our Teacher Professional Development programs can assist you in your work with K12 teachers, feel free to contact Gariepy or CLS Department Chair Susie Amato-Henderson.
They include Lauri Davis, a Houghton High School teacher who works with Michigan Tech in its summer professional development program for teachers.
Read the story here.