CSTA Classroom Science

Grow, Adapt, Invest in Yourself

Fall is finally upon us, and while we wish that everything was back to normal again, we as a society and science community must continue to adapt and change to new circumstances. When I think back on the recent months and times before, I realize that constant adaptation is actually normal for us. This is just a completely new and different set of circumstances than what we as a community have ever faced before. In our classrooms every day we face new changes and new opportunities to engage our students, and new ways to impact investigation and learning. Our current times are no different, rather it is the mode of delivery that is different. While that may have changed, the needs to grow and progress as teachers and people remains.

There is no doubt that the times are challenging, and engagement with our students can be difficult, but I also like to look at the positives in these circumstances. Let us think about new and different ways to teach science in our students’ everyday lives - in their homes, in their communities, and in classrooms through adapted and unique ways. To me the opportunity that comes from distance learning or hybrid learning, or even from having students in the classroom but structured differently, truly reinforces the fact that science is all around us during every moment of every single day. It is in our approach as educators that we continue to adapt, to evolve, and to innovate in how we deliver that and highlight this presence in our lives. 

CASE continues to support our teachers and to provide educational opportunities for our teachers to learn, to expand our thinking, and to think about new ways of engaging our students. We have been conducting webinars and are launching new initiatives to provide our members with access to resources. While face to face interaction is always the best, we recognize that sometimes this is not the most prudent or appropriate way to proceed based on our understanding of science. Our annual gathering of science educators for the California Science Education Conference is an annual celebration of our community and an opportunity for us to be together, to foster our friendship, to learn and expand ourselves professionally and personally, but as is the case with so many things this year, being together in person is not the best option. The transition to a virtual conference still provides every one of us with opportunities to develop ourselves, to learn new things, and to grow as people. Granted, it is sometimes hard to put ourselves first but we have to remember that as educators, if we do not take care of ourselves and invest in ourselves, we cannot and will not deliver what our students need of us. 

Continue to think of new ways to provide yourself time to grow as an individual. Invest in yourself professionally and personally to provide yourself with the satisfaction, adaptation, and growth opportunities. Your students will thank you and be better off because of it. CASE stands at the ready to continue to provide opportunities to engage, to learn, to grow, and to adapt, and we support every one of you in doing just that. 



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Shawna Metcalf

Written by Shawna Kolmel

Shawna is a science specialist at Glendale Unified School District and is President of CASE (2019-2021).

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