Challenging Perspectives -- Week 2

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Thursday, June 8, 2017


Justine Boecker

This week has been an incredible and challenging week of learning, growing and changing perspectives. I was looking at some pictures and posts on Tuesday from only a week and three days earlier. They were during the last couple days of student teaching. As overwhelmed as I am with all I have to learn, I cannot believe all that I have gained in just a week. I cannot imagine going back to the perspective I held when I was having my students make solar cookers. Science education is so much bigger than my student teaching, my classroom, my district and even having a job when I get back (although I am thankful that I do). This week I attended report release of a ​study called Empowered Educators conducted by Linda Darling-Hammond. It looked at five successful education communities around the world and how they structure teacher prep. It has really been a shock for me to go from a district/state understanding of education to a national perspective on education and now this week an international perspective. There is no way I could go home from this experience the same teacher I was when I left.

Another learning experience I’ve had this week was at a meeting at the Library of Congress. I got to learn all about how the work of the Education Outreach division of the library. They provide a variety of resources for teachers. It was interesting for me to make connections to a trip I took to the Minnesota Historical Society for my Social Studies methods course at Bethel. We experienced a program for teachers introducing us to using primary sources. I found myself drawing all sorts of connections with the materials that were being laid out for me. When I mentioned the trip, the woman confirmed that the Minnesota Historical Society is one of their partners and that it was good to hear that their materials were being used and modified effectively for different purposes.

After this discussion, I also got to view a couple of very interesting places in both the Adams and Jefferson building. I thought the science reading room was particularly interesting. I loved the quote engraved in the wall “Educate the mass of the people -- Enable them to see…” I also saw the old card catalog. It was actually pretty incredible. 163 million items on cards take up a lot of space and a lot of organization.

Looking forward, I am excited to continue working on the Waves and Sound workshop for K-8 teachers that I am designing. I am also excited about a trip to Miami both for being in Miami and hopefully taking some time to lay on a beach but also for the work I am going to be doing there with women in physics at the highschool level. I am working on so many different things that there is no way I could get bored with what I am doing. I also feel fortunate that every project I have is something I feel particularly passionate about.


To close, in light of my Library of Congress connections from this week and my overall unending gratitude for the amazing people that have been placed in my life these last four years, I would like to offer a huge thank you to my Bethel professors who developed me into a teacher more prepared to engage in this world of education even at the national level.

Science reading room in the Library of Congress
"Educate the mass of the people -- Enable them to see..."

Justine Boecker