Hello and welcome to The Integrated STEM Store! I've been teaching for 4 years, with the first half of my experience coming in a Title I school teaching all subjects and eventually reading/writing/language arts, and the second half teaching STEM. After experiencing the testing blitz and seeing the affect it had on my kiddos, I earnestly began looking for a teaching position that would allow me to teach in a way that breathed, that encouraged mistakes and learning from them, and that championed critical thought and real-world problem solving. I found that position as a STEM instructor for all grades at my school (K-5) and am so glad that I did! I am a Lead Teacher and Master Teacher for the Project Lead the Way Launch program, as well a Science/STEM resource teacher, working with grade level teachers to deepen math and reading blocks with integrated STEM experiences.
I love problem-based, collaborative learning because it fosters all of the intangible cognitive skills that are necessary for our students to learn to think critically, solve problems, and communicate well with those around them. I view myself as a facilitator and spend the bulk of my time creating an atmosphere that will allow for student-led discovery, understanding and creation. As a Science/STEM resource I work with grade level teams to bring math and reading standards into a STEM experience. Having a real-world problem to solve or challenge to meet brings so much purpose to the skills they are learning and creates a natural need for that skill. Engagement is through the roof!
Well, I can't say that I have won any awards, but my greatest honor has come from the many students who have told me that they now want to be a scientist, engineer, or STEM teacher ("like you").
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Before teaching I worked in higher education as an Assistant Director of Admissions, working primarily with our communications systems, marketing/graphic design, and with student workers. It sounds strange, but those years were the catalyst for me to enter education as a teacher.