Standard 7: Engagement with Subject Matter
Meeting Standard Seven:
"The student teacher demonstrates mastery of the skills and knowledge central to the discipline. Interest in, and energy for, his/her discipline are demonstrated through the creation of lessons which present diverse students with challenging activities and projects, engage them, and encourage them to solve problems, raise questions, and interact in ways that contribute to a positive learning environment while developing skills as critical, inquiring thinkers."
-Brown University Teacher Education Handbook
Before my interest in becoming a teacher blossomed, I had fallen in love with the sciences, and thought that I might end up pursuing that discipline. My decision to become a teacher developed from the belief that education and the sharing of knowledge are of paramount importance, and from my experience that teaching others helps me to deepen my own knowledge of whatever material I find myself teaching.
I think of other children I had grown up with, who perhaps had not had parents who pushed them or teachers who inspired them to the same degree, and got left out of the magic of discovering the world as a mystical and wondrous place, not to mention the opportunity to pursue their dreams to the furthest possible extent. More than anything, I want to share with them the mysteries of the world, and help them come to see science not as a drudge, but a thrill, and along the way enable them to achieve educational goals that will open the world up to them. At the same time, sharing my passions will reinforce them for myself, allowing me to more fully appreciate the wonders of nature that have held my curiosity captive for so long.
To these ends, I tried to infuse every presentation I planned for this course with my enthusiasm for science and the wonders of the world. I incorporated the same stories and phenomena that had grabbed my own attention when I myself was discovering these topics. While presenting, I also asked questions that engaged with students' curiosity and invited them to use critical reasoning to develop connections and explanations for themselves. For an example of one of my direct teacher presentations, please see "What's the Purpose of a Flower?"