Getting to Know our Enrichment Teachers
Q&A WITH BALBOA’S SCIENCE ENRICHMENT TEACHER MS. ERIN ALEXANDER
One of the hallmark acronyms for the 21st century has been “STEM.” Especially when we are talking about female students, the areas of science, technology engineering and math have taken a front seat in curriculum discussions. Fortunately here at Balboa, we have the “S” factor well taken care of.
This school year, we were pleased to welcome Erin Alexander to our learning community. Since her arrival, she has made quite in impression on our students, as well as faculty, staff and parents. We thought it would be a great introduction to ask her a few questions about her background and classroom philosophy. Here’s what she had to say.
What is your background and training?
My background in education extends back to my undergraduate degree at the University of California, Santa Barbara where I received a minor in the Education and Applied Psychology: Teacher Preparation Track. I then went on to get my credential from California State University, Northridge in their accelerated teacher credential program known as ACT. Throughout the years of obtaining these degrees, I have taken science methods classes to help prepare me to teach science to young students.
What made you decide to pursue a career in Science Education?
While growing up, science was always one of my favorite subjects. I was always curious about the world around me and was constantly asking questions. I want to be able to help foster that same curiosity about the world in today’s young children. I want to let students know that it is okay to ask questions and wonder about the world and what makes it tick. The greatest inventions came from those individuals that wanted to explore the world and so I wanted to get into science education so that I could potentially help the next generation of great inventors of our world.
What do you hope to impart to your students?
One thing I hope to impart to my students is that asking questions is okay and preferred. So often in classroom settings, students have a fear of speaking up and asking questions, or even asking questions that may go against something a teacher has said. In the science lab, I want my students to know that asking questions is wonderful. I want students to be able to come up with their own questions that they want to further research and find out more about. I also want to impart to my students the importance of exploring the world around them. Nothing makes me more excited than when a student comes up to me and tells me that after our lab they went home and researched something related to the lab. By constantly researching and exploring, they can discover so many new things.
Why is Science important to an elementary school curriculum?
Science is important to an elementary school curriculum because it teaches students that they sometimes have to search to find the answers to problems or questions they might have. It also teaches them to always ask questions in the hopes of making their projects better. In a science lab, students learn and improve on a variety of skills that they do not always get a chance to work on in the classroom. In science, students get opportunities to observe, investigate, research, design, plan, and analyze different problems or solutions. This gives them a great background in case they get the opportunity to become scientists, engineers, paleontologists, and so much more.
If you were to see a student ten years from now, what one thing would you want them to remember about you and your class?
If I were to run into a student ten years from now, I would want them to remember that in my class they were given the ability to participate in fun, engaging, hands on explorations that taught them to learn, think out of the box, ask questions and discover that the world is constantly changing.
To support enrichment programs like Instructional Support Technology, make a contribution to the COMPASS Fund at www.BalboaParents.org or drop a check, payable to "Balboa Spirit Club," by the office. Be sure to indicate "COMPASS FUND" and include your student's name and classroom.
Keep the Exploration Going
The Science Lab Instructor's salary is paid through the Balboa Spirit Club's COMPASS Fund. Direct donations made by Balboa families and the community are what makes this and our other enrichment programs possible.
We will be unable to continue funding Science Lab without your help! Please contribute now in any amount to keep this amazing program going by donating to the COMPASS Fund today!