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I believe the most important part of teaching, and also perhaps the

hardest part of teaching, is getting students to be excited about

learning. No, I do not think that everyone should be so jazzed about
chemistry that they cant wait to get to the next chapter of the
textbook. That would be quite remarkable, seeing as how even I
despised chemistry the first time we were introduced. My goal as a
teacher is to instill my students with strategies that they can use to
pursue a subject that actually does make them excited.
While teaching my students how to learn is my modus operandi, I am
also tasked with teaching them science, which is no small feat. Many
students I have encountered thus far are averse to science for a
variety of reasons, the most notable being that its too hard. Let me
tell you, my students are not wrong! Learning any kind of science
usually requires a calculator, spatial reasoning, the ability to see the
system as a whole and the ability to see how each microscopic piece
makes it work. It requires students to grapple with ethics, work with
dangerous chemicals, write lab reports and use APA format. Science
really is a way to apply knowledge from all other subject matter, and
this makes it intimidating. This very reason is why it is so important for
students to learn science. Science is the study of what makes the world
go round, and to be a scientifically literate person is to be a wellinformed, responsible citizen of this earth. It is more important than
ever that students understand science, given the current politics
surrounding climate change, agriculture, fossil fuel depletion, etc. I
need to prepare my students to make intelligent decisions when they
vote on legislation surrounding these scientific issues.
To prepare my students to be scientifically literate citizens, I prefer that
they learn by doing. Science is a unique subject matter, because
students can observe scientific phenomena and laws first-hand. The
methods that I prefer to use to help my students discover the world are
inquiry and student-led learning. I enjoy creating situations where my
students have the tools and the support they need to take
responsibility for their own learning. I believe that this method is most
effective because when you treat students like capable learners, they
rise to their full potential in the classroom. Not only does inquiry and
student-led learning bring out the best in my students, I believe that it
also has the power to inspire my students to want to learn. Thus, these
methods can fulfill both of my purposes; teaching students science and
fostering a desire for learning in them.
Martha Stewart said it best: Learning on a daily basis shouldnt feel
like a penance or a dreaded task but rather, a pleasure and a joy. I
hope that my classroom is a place where my students feel- at least
some of the time- that this is true.