I taught middle school physical science for three years at a private christian school. Most of the students were in the upper middle class, so my teaching style was creative but not ground breaking. Now, I am in my third year at a public school in the heart of San Bernardino, which is a low income, low performing district, which means I have had to get extremely creative and innovating to get my students interested, as well as proficient in chemistry. So far, my style and techniques have worked well and my scores are progressively increasing. More importantly, my students claim that my class is their favorite and the one they learn the most in!
I am a visual learner myself, so I need to see it! I prefer pictures over text and I buy into inquiry based learning and use it like it's the only style. The students need to experience the content not just hear about it. Also, I believe in using analogies to teach. Because my students are not naturally academic, their brains need something familiar to attach the content to, so that recalling that information is easy. Analogies make that happen! So I use an analogy for every topic I teach and it's always something they know about and enjoy.
I don't have any official awards but every time one of my far below basic student says, 'Ah Ha! I get it!' That is my shining moment! I have had a lot of students move up one or two performance levels. Last year, I had many far below basic students move up to the basic level, and that always feels good!
I have a bachelors in chemistry from La Sierra University (I was supposed to go to medical school) and then I got my teaching credentials from Cal State San Bernardino, where I learned about all these innovative teaching strategies that I have employed ever since.
On the side, I am a web/graphics designer and a musician. So I know I am a techie. I know how to make graphics and I like using music whenever I can. If I don't have a picture that I need, I just make it! So all of my lessons are loaded with my own original creations. And a lot of my lessons have crazy songs and videos in them to make them pop.