The Japanese life principle “Ikigai” translates roughly to that sense of purpose one wakes up for each morning. Each one of us is made a student in life during our search for Ikigai, and the quality of our education determines how well we fulfill it. My reason for becoming a high school teacher is to ensure that every one of you has the ability to pursue your Ikigai. In order to do this, my classroom will promote an environment that nurtures self-development, perseverance, and an understanding of science.
I don’t expect all of you to become as passionate about science as I am, but I do hold high expectations for each of you. My successes as a teacher will be evident when each of you experience growth in my classroom. The growth that takes place during the year will be transparent to both you and I because I assess for learning. I design my assessments to accurately demonstrate what each of you should be able to accomplish in terms of learning targets that are explicit within the curriculum. Using my assessments, I design learning activities that address the understandings that I expect and which will help each of you to experience success. Every student is given the chance to succeed because I create my assessments to be purposeful and explicit. I model exemplary work so you know what I am looking for, and I provide feedback so that you always have the chance to improve on each learning target until mastery has occurred.
Although I expect a lot from you, I believe that you should expect a lot from me. In order to improve as an educator, I am reflective on my practice and use assessment as feedback on my own teaching. You should come to expect a high quality education from me, regardless of your learning capabilities. Each of you has the capacity to learn!
Arguably one of the greatest teachers the world has ever known, Socrates taught some of the most successful pupils in history. He believed that to teach wasn’t to transmit knowledge from teacher to student, but to cultivate a propensity for growth. Like Socrates, I believe my job is to facilitate your developing into active learners. One of our pursuits in life is the discovery of our hidden Ikigai, and it is the process of discovery which has immense importance for education. By contributing to your exceptional science education, I hope to enable you to be better prepared for your futures with the knowledge, skills, and curiosity that can be gained through science.