Wider Perspectives -- Week 1

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Friday, June 2, 2017


Justine Boecker

I can’t believe I made it to this point. I made it through the week. Everything started out busy. Friday was my last week of student teaching, Saturday I graduated, Sunday I packed and completed my last minute tasks before I left, flew out Monday morning and moved in that afternoon. I had orientation on Tuesday and finally my first day at AAPT on Wednesday.  I am not even sure I have breathed the past week. Even though it was busy, I have found myself learning and experiencing things I didn’t even realize I would. It has been a week of perspective switches. I am changing from the district and state level education to a national perspective.

My intern placement is at the American Association of Physics Teachers working with professional development. My first two days of work consisted mostly of hanging out and getting to know my mentor. The more I get to know her, the more I feel incredibly honored and blessed to be learning from her. As I started some office work, I have discovered several opportunities to influence issues that have specifically affected me. The highest priority being physics for elementary schoolers. I am designing a workshop for K-8 teachers in Cincinnati during the AAPT conference.

I also am going to have the opportunity to work on a project that has affected me personally. Have you ever heard the phrase You’re too smart to be a teacher? I have. Teaching physics is just as intellectually stimulating as an engineering job.Being a good teacher is just as difficult if not more than being a good physicist. The group I will be able to work with aims to change the negative perspectives on teachers and teaching.

Tonight I was working the AAPT booth at Astronomy at the Mall, which was an outreach event held at the National Mall, and I looked up at the Washington Monument during sunset with the moon above. I had a moment of awe. I cannot believe I am here; I cannot believe this city; I cannot believe that have been given this opportunity to make a difference, and most importantly, I cannot believe I have been given this opportunity to learn. I have so much to learn.


Astronomy at the Mall
My mentor is so cool she took me to NASA headquarters ;)

Justine Boecker