North Carolina Science Leadership Fellows Program Application
1. I believe that the best way to have control over one’s circumstances is through education, so I have high expectations for myself and my students when it comes to being a lifelong learner. I began college as a pre-med student. Though the academics of the program stimulated me, I realized that the sharing of knowledge more closely matched my paradigm than the inherent competition necessary to be accepted into a medical school, so I changed universities and majors. As an elementary educator, I recognize that I must share knowledge of all content areas, so in a conscious effort to round-out my skill set, I completed my Master’s of Education in Language and Literacy in 2006. This taught me the power of incorporating accurate and interesting content through literature and interdisciplinary units. I attended a day long Project Learning Tree Workshop in the fall of 2007, and was reminded of the importance of environmental education, especially for children who will bear the gifts and burdens of our changing planet. I completed AIG licensure in 2008, which strengthened my skills at providing rigorous lessons, especially in STEM areas, in which American students need to be knowledgeable and innovative to remain internationally competitive. I have come full circle, and am again passionate about my first loves, science and math. I led a thirty-hour Math Investigations workshop last summer because I have seen the effectiveness of this program’s hands-on instruction with my own students. I am also part of a two-year program called Math Partners, in which I attend and train teachers in my district mathematical concepts and research-based teaching strategies. By the year’s end, I will have attended eighty hours of training and led forty-two hours of staff development for that program.2. I am a member of the International Reading Association, which helps me stay current on instructional strategies and current research about how students learn. I am an active member of the Salem College Literacy Support Group, in which teachers from various schools and grade levels share current literature for instructing students and discuss ways to include content-area texts into the curriculum. I am a member of the North Carolina Association for the Gifted and Talented, and attend conferences that focus on the acceleration and enrichment of the standard course of study. I also attend a number of technology and other staff development workshops regularly. I serve as a member of the school Beautification Committee (with parents) and the Green Team (with teachers), which encourage environmental awareness and education.3. My ultimate goal of participating in the NC Science Leadership Fellows Program in to strengthen connections. I would like to personally be more knowledgeable of current issues in science so that I can share them with my students. I would like for my third- graders to be engaged and informed so that they can thoughtfully form opinions about controversial issues and share them with their peers and families. I would like to form working relationships with scientists in the field, for if the goal of education is to create active citizens, they must have role-models to look up to. I would like to share teaching strategies and content with other staff members, especially as the NCSCOS is about to be changed.4. As a science leader, I helped my school earn almost $6,000 in grants for outdoor learning. We now have compost bins, an outdoor classroom, and several garden areas that reflect the plant life from each region of our state. I have helped write grants, physically create the spaces, and manage them. I have been very proud to bring families, students, and teachers together on this project.
5. I make every effort to share recent innovations in science with my students. We read several periodicals regularly to be aware of the positive and negative changes in our environment and understanding of the world around us. Each week, students prepare a snack to share with the class. We discuss which plant parts the food came from and which region the food comes from, so students are increasingly aware of the connections between land and the things grown there. I am more conscious of selecting accurate and