Turning the calendar to the month of August signifies the excitement of another school year. Early on in my teaching career, a colleague jokingly stated when the date stamped on the breakfast orange juice container read August 15 it was a reminder that a new class of students was on the horizon.
Over this summer, many of us have turned to NSTA to elevate our teaching practice. Some have participated in Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) chats reflecting on the reasoning and thinking children need to exhibit in our classroom, whittled down our “books to read” list by finishing an insightful NSTA Press publication, or attended the STEM Forum & Expo seeking to develop a coherent STEM education strategy for our school or district.
As you embark on a new school year, continue to make the most of your NSTA membership experience by accessing the many quality resources our association offers. Please also consider enhancing the membership experience for your colleagues by contributing to a favorite resource and sharing your ideas. Your ideas are valued and welcomed.
I recall many August’s ago sitting in a backyard chair reading NSTA Reports for the first time. I especially remember the pull-out section and the plethora of opportunities provided in the Freebies for Science Teachers, and In Your Pocket areas. The grants, awards, fellowships, and competition page also provided me with timely resources to consider. I encourage you to access and take advantage of these same resources.
Since that particular summer, NSTA has been a trusted source and the first place I turn for opportunities to improve my teaching practice. My membership experience has enabled me to contribute to our association and brought many new friends for which I am most grateful. My learning through NSTA via conferences, webinars, books, journals, blogs, and personal conversations with colleagues has been most rewarding. During the writing of the NGSS, these NSTA learning experiences were invaluable.
Earlier this summer, I overheard a lively conversation between two beginning teachers having lunch together during the STEM Forum & Expo. Despite them sitting the next table over, their excitement was evident as they shared resources and new learnings with great animation. Each teacher spoke about ideas they planned to implement in their classroom and described new strategies of how they would be engaging students in three dimensional science learning. Their passion was contagious.
As your professional association, NSTA is uniquely poised to support innovations of the new vision for science education brought forth by the Framework and the NGSS. Continue to engage in the science reform movement as you use and contribute to the resources available through our association. Please consider your commitment to NSTA, and best wishes for professionally rewarding new school year.
Kenneth L. Huff is the NSTA Division Director, Middle Level Science Teaching
Join NSTA today and receive Science Scope, the peer-reviewed journal just for middle school teachers; connect on the middle level science teaching list (members can sign up on the list server); or consider joining your peers for Meet Me in the Middle Day (MMITM) at the National Conference on Science Education in Los Angeles in the spring of 2017.
The mission of NSTA is to promote excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.
Future NSTA Conferences
2016 Area Conferences
2017 National Conference