Dr. Sharon Bennett Delesbore is a campus administrator at an alternative school for at-risk students. Dr. Delesbore, who joined NSTA almost 20 years ago when she was a middle school science teacher, credits the organization with helping her become a leader in science education and a minority role model for administrators, teachers, and students.
Delesbore: As an administrator, I’ve never wanted to lose the teacher in me. How can you be an administrator and lead if you don’t stay abreast of what’s taking place instructionally? I’m a campus administrator for a small community of at-risk students. Our science program is one of the main ways we engage our students. That’s why it’s important that I stay connected to science education, and NSTA helps me with that. I always share NSTA Reports, the journals, blog posts, and information I gain at NSTA conferences with my teachers and district administrators.
In addition, my affiliation with NSTA connected me with the Association for Multicultural Science Education (AMSE). When I first became a member of NSTA, I attended the Alice J. Moses Breakfast sponsored by Pearson Education and organized by AMSE annually at the NSTA national conference. Dr. Alice Moses was the first African-American NSTA president. AMSE is an affiliate of NSTA and is a community of educators that are either minority educators or educators who work with minority or at-risk students. I am grateful to NSTA for introducing me to this group that nurtures science education for minority and diverse students. I am now president-elect of AMSE.
How else has your NSTA membership helped you in your position?
Delesbore: NSTA has been valuable in helping us look at NGSS, for example. Our state, Texas, didn’t adopt NGSS. But even though Texas hasn’t adopted NGSS, our school is still incorporating what’s taking place nationally, because that’s important. NGSS finally provides a definition of what science looks like. So, for me, as an administrator, that gives me a valuable tool as I’m helping teachers revise their science curriculum to engage students.
The NSTA resources on NGSS have helped us work through paradigm shifts and learn more about what NGSS is all about. We want to make sure that what we’re practicing goes above and beyond state expectations. That way, our students are still going to meet state expectations, but will also be able to compete globally.
Not a member of NSTA? Learn more about how to join.
Jennifer Henderson is our guest blogger for this series. Before launching her freelance career as a writer/editor, Jennifer was Managing Editor of The Science Teacher, NSTA’s peer-reviewed journal for high school science teachers.