Tag Archives: professional development

Mentoring — A team effort






The most experienced science teacher is retiring this year at the middle school where I am principal. The other five teachers on the science faculty are early in their teaching careers. What are your thoughts on asking an experienced non-science teacher to mentor the new hire?  —K., VA When I started as a teacher we […]

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A love note to education conferences






In my suitcase I have a collapsible jug, tube, funnel, glitter, pebbles, foam hearts, sea shells, and empty plastic bottles—all part of the materials I need for a presentation at the 2017 ECSTEM conference (February 3-4), organized by The Children’s Center at Caltech, in collaboration with THINK Together. An education conference is a joyful place […]

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Teacher as scientist






I have a degree in biology and teach high school. Although I love teaching at this level, I miss doing real scientific work myself. Any suggestions on how I can still stay engaged and current in science? —T., Illinois Although we teach a variety of topics, teachers have areas of special interests. And as we […]

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Positive environments: Early childhood education conferences






Two early childhood conferences I attended this month, a national conference and a local regional conference, were awash with sessions on science, STEM, and STEAM education. Although science education is my main focus, I enjoy attending conferences because in addition to the terrific learning experience, it always lifts my spirits. Something about large numbers of […]

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Investigating water with Early Childhood educators






“At what age can a child begin science learning?” asked one participant at an early childhood education workshop on investigating the properties of water in a fun, scientific way using observation, documentation and reflecting on that work. The group answered the question, “As infants,” “My babies do,” and “At any age,” just as I put […]

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Navigating a New Role






This year, as a science supervisor, I will be observing teachers. I’m not sure whether I should interact with them during classroom visits if I see something that could be improved. How involved should I be? —J., Pennsylvania You have a wonderful opportunity to observe (and learn from) a variety of teachers and share your […]

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Feeling stressed






I’m a first-year middle school life science teacher. After a few weeks, I am really stressed with all of the planning and paperwork. Any resources or words of encouragement? —L., New York Welcome to science teaching! Every teacher has gone through what you’re experiencing, even if they had a great student teaching experience. Fortunately, there […]

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Ideas for a new mentor teacher






My principal asked me to be a mentor for a new science teacher. I received a checklist of high school policies to review, but how can I help him in other ways? – T., New Jersey In my experience, a good mentor can be a role model, a good listener, a source of suggestions and […]

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Science Teachers “Speak Up” About Technology in the Classroom






Science teachers are savvy users of instructional technology. They use a multitude of digital resources to help students explore and learn, to differentiate instruction, support collaborative classroom projects, and develop formative assessments. Science teachers also use technology (a lot) and rely on the Internet and webinars to help them increase their content knowledge, prepare for […]

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DIY Your Science PD






As a K-12 science department chair, I’m looking for professional development (PD) opportunities for our teachers. It’s hard to find speakers and programs for a small group. We have a very small budget, so traveling for conferences is not an option, either. Are you familiar with other options? —K., Minnesota Continuing education is an important […]

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