Reflection on Receiving the Robert H. Carleton Award

Jack Rhoton accepting the Robert H. Carleton AwardToday’s guest blogger is Jack Rhoton, 2014 winner of the NSTA Robert H. Carleton Award

To be recognized as a recipient of the Robert H. Carleton Award from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) was truly the capstone of my professional life. To be noticed at all for one’s passion is always appreciated, but to be named an NSTA Carleton Award recipient is an especially high honor, one for which I am abundantly thankful. I have always valued the opportunities to be so closely involved with NSTA for nearly four decades. Not only has NSTA allowed me to serve in a variety of leadership roles, it has also provided a forum for me to network and learn from others in our nation and, indeed, throughout the world. I have made so many dear friends here. I have learned so much from my colleagues, and I hope my contribution has inspired other to reach for excellence in science teaching and learning. So, I give special thanks to NSTA as well as Dow Chemical Company for sponsoring this Award. Dow has aligned its company with education to advance quality STEM education around the world. And that is so much appreciated.

I also accepted this award realizing that there are others of gifted vision who were deserving of this recognition. When I look at past recipients of this award, I see a collection of remarkable individuals who are legends in our profession. I have been privileged to know most of them and it is humbling to be in their company. They have improved the overall value and effectiveness of our work. I’ve learned so much from them; I owe them a great deal. To be recognized by one’s peers and this prestigious award is truly gratifying and humbling, especially in light of the fact that it has been bestowed on a relatively few in our profession.

It was important for me to accept this award on behalf of all science teachers. As I reflect upon having received this award, I am reminded of the milestones of my journey in building systems of support for the classroom science teacher. In my nearly 5 decades of working in science education, I have come to value, more and more, the wisdom of teachers in shaping our great profession. Our educational system benefits when we incorporate the advice and knowledge of outstanding classroom science teachers when formulating education policy. This is why I appreciate and value so much the work of NSTA in elevating the work and status of the classroom science teacher. NSTA represents the binoculars, the magnifier, and the telescope (all in one) in adding value to our work.  And that alone is enough to be a member of this great organization.

Again, I offer my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the National Science Teachers Association and the Dow Chemical Company for their continued support in promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning.


Learn more about the many Awards and Recognitions available from NSTA. The 2015 award applications are open for submission!

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