Teaching has been a part of me for as long as I can remember. Even in high school, I remember tutoring fellow students, a trend that continued through college where I began tutoring professionally in Grosse Pointe. After college and the Peace Corps, I pursed my dream and received my teaching certificate in May of 1999.
In some part of my being, I've always known that I'd end up an educator. However, my It wasn't until my experiences in the Peace Corps, that I knew high school was the place for me. I feel that the high school setting allows me to relate to the students on a level on which we are both comfortable. In addition, as young adults, students are faced with myriad choices and my goal is to lead by example in making these difficult choices about their futures - ultimately doing what they love.
In my classroom I teach with a pedagogy called the Modeling Method for Instruction in High School Physics (click the link to read more about the methodology). In short, modeling is a constructivist methodology that allow students to build their own physics knowledge with my facilitation and guidance. I do not lecture or provide students with detailed lab procedures. Each student is responsible for his learning and ideas are brought out through lab work and reinforced through Socratic Dialogue. In my classroom true learning happens because the students "own" their knowledge.
This is a large departure from the old days of lecture driven physics classes where the emphasis was on problem solving. However, I feel that today's students demand more and the research (and my own experiences) have shown that students who learn under the modeling method not only retain more information but also have a deeper understanding of not only physics but the world around them.
One of the most integral parts of my teaching is my summer learning. Please read about my summer experiences on the Background & Education page.
Teaching to me is so much more than classroom instruction, its also about being a role model, and a leader in and outside of the classroom. It is my goal to pass on my love and appreciation for learning to my students.