The end is just the beginning. Six weeks flew by; and what I'm taking from this RET experience will set me up for success in the years to come. I wish all first-year teachers could have this opportunity. Here is a list of the top ten things I will take with me:
1) "Inquiry" - promoting an scientific atmosphere for kids (similar to the real world) where the answers are yet to be discovered.
2) Lab journaling - for both myself & the students. Use pen. date. time. titles. data. research. etc.
3) Professional collaboration: the "how to's" when it comes to working with colleagues: language, ideas, development, etc.
4) Several new "cool" techniques: plasma machine. hemacytometer. passages. microfluidics & more.
5) A deeper understanding: of what a life in research "truly" is: repetition, grants, sacrifice, reward, learning from failures, aseptic techniques, honesty, integrity...
6) Interdisciplinary connections: Knowledge is not static! Science depends on the numbers from math, as well as language, culture, history, etc.
7) Fun! : There are plenty of opportunities to make light of serious situations; a stop to smell the roses message- what's the use of all this science & technology if we don't know how to enjoy it :o)
8) Working with high schoolers: It was an excellent preview of what my career would be like if I ever graduate from middle school education.
9) Lesson plans: This aspect of my teaching evolves daily & has been accelerated by this experience with some extremely valuable tools e.g. backwards design & putting the "life" in life science.
10) Gratitude: I can't thank you enough: NSF, Northeastern, Dr. Murthy & crew, Claire, Rocco, Mark, Matt, Greg & everyone else whom made this summer so inspirational. I look forward to future opportunities to work with you all.
- Jason Souza
Bigelow Middle School