On the first day of school, have you ever thought of your classrooms as newly opened boxes of crayons? I do. Like pencil-sticks of colored wax, the students each have different names, individual characteristics, and various levels of brightness. I set a goal each year to promote not only creativity but to draw out of my students’ reasons about why science is so important. As science educators, we not only need to illustrate the importance of knowing facts and terminology; but, also be able to frame those concepts in such a way that students are motivated to want to study and understand biology.
When I began teaching, I never thought that I would have the multitude of experiences I have now. I have taught in schools ranging from city to rural, public to private and large to small; not to mention classes ranging from general science to advanced biology. Through these diverse experiences, I have developed a number of strategies that have enhanced student achievement and science appreciation. In this handbook, I share with you these experiences and techniques, showing you how to enhance teaching skills, increase student drive, create mental connections, better manage your class time, use proper technology, practice forms of differentiation, and incorporate a few NGSS.