Sometimes, your Professional Learning Community is not at your school, but rather with educators from around the world.
After attending ChemEd at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, this past summer and meeting such wonderful chemistry teachers from across the country, I began to think about motivation and how important it is in our field to find those intrinsic motivators. With the Next Generation of Science Standards (NGSS) taking hold in most states across the country, I call upon chemistry teachers to collaborate and I challenge you to find what intrinsically motivates you as a chemistry teacher.
We teach it, some celebrate it, and we try to make it engaging for our students. What is it? The mole concept and Mole Day! So how do we make it engaging for our students? Let me introduce #molympics.
I want to learn more about the modeling approach to teaching chemistry, but have not yet found the time to attend training. It seems like modeling would be the next logical step after the flipped classroom method of instruction that I have used for the last four years. My goal in using modeling is to continue to move from a teacher centered classroom to an environment wherein students take on true ownership of their own learning. As luck would have it, I met some experienced modelers at a Biennial Conference on Chemical Education 2014 (BCCE 2014) Birds-of-a-Feather lunchtime chat and got to pick the brain of Erica Posthuma-Adams, and others, regarding this instructional approach. Their passion for modeling was clear and their willingness to share effective strategies for building a classroom around modeling was most appreciated.
If you are like me and unable to attend BCCE 2014, there is still a way to be part of the action. Twitter! Even if you don't have a Twitter account, you can follow tweets from participants that are there "live tweeting" the action.
By way of introducing myself, I'd like to respond to Deanna Cullen's blog post about social media here on ChemEd X with some ideas of my own. The reason I'm here is that Deanna found me through following one of the chemistry-related Twitter chats and invited me to join ChemEd X as a contributor. I currently teach IBDP Chemistry at the American International School of Bucharest. Since my early days as a teacher, I have utilized technology throughout my instruction. I also incorporate some ideas from the modeling chemistry movement to help my students understand chemistry at the particle level. I'm hoping to share some ideas that will inspire you to try new things, and I'm also expecting to learn a lot from all of you that interact with us here at ChemEd X.
Chemistry teachers are always looking for new ideas to reach students. Social media is a new frontier to reach students AND collaborate with other chemistry teachers around the world 24/7. I hesitated to join Twitter because it seemed like "just one more thing to add to my plate". I did finally log on and created an account.