Before I started facilitating regular maker experiences in my classroom, I had quite a few reasons in mind for not pursuing this type of instruction. I didn’t think I had the right space set up. I didn’t think I...
I have always been in love with learning. I crave the amazement and satisfaction that come from the revelation of new knowledge and perspectives. I didn’t really understand this until I was in college and was able to choose my courses and paths to learning. Because of this passion, I became a teacher. I wanted to spark the same interest for learning in my students. Teaching was overwhelming. It was frustrating. It was also incredibly fun and rewarding. I taught in classrooms for five years (3 ½ in sixth grade). When I started, I was focused on following the curriculum that was passed down to me and making sure I was “doing it right.” The longer I taught, however, I found that students were more engaged and curious when we veered off in directions that were relevant and interesting to them. It was when I gave them time to discover their own conclusions that sparked the love of learning in them that I found myself.
When I moved out of state a few years ago, I decided to pursue museum education and became an educator at a local science center. This is how I became passionate about maker education/STEM/STEAM/PBL. The organization emphasized discovery through hands-on learning and it triggered my interest in learning through experience. I loved seeing the excitement and engagement that occurred when I facilitated prototyping and experimenting rather than lecturing and leading them down a narrow path of exploration and content.
I believe our job as educators is to spark student curiosity, and guide students to help them discover their own unique passions.
Over the years I have gotten the opportunity to work in a variety of positions in schools and museums. I have written curriculum, led summer camps, taught preschool through eighth graders, and run education programs like Girls in STEM. I love working with educators who want to empower and engage their students in learning.