I am a first generation college student that graduated with a bachelors in secondary education and chemistry from the University of Nevada, Reno in May of 2018.
During my senior semester I completed 14 weeks of student teaching that shaped the direction that I wanted to go after graduation. During this time I shared experiences with multiple chemistry teachers that felt that they didn't have the resources they needed to implement the Next Generation Science Standards. There wasn't enough time in a day, and honestly most of them felt that their salary wasn't commensurate with the work needed to create these high caliber lessons. What I ended up seeing was chemistry curriculum being taught through worksheets, repetition, and labs that often were hands on but not engaging the students at the microscopic level.
I truly believe that chemistry has the power to answer problems that our world is facing. My problem to answer is how to reduce the impact of the fast fashion industry and constant consumption cycle. I believe that this can start by creating high quality curriculum that invites the learners in on an issue that they can relate to.
From my experience in the classroom, sometimes, when I thought I had lesson plans that would demand attention students were still not focused. In order to make the lesson plans effective the classroom environment has to be effective first. As a new teacher this year, setting boundaries and expectations with the learners is a crucial step in breaking through the routines to truly explore the scientific content.
The fall of 2018 I will be starting a masters degree in STEM curriculum where I will also have an opportunity to explore textile dying more in depth. this additional education will help me to move further towards my goal of creating textile curriculum for chemistry teachers to implement in their classroom, as well as, creating workshops for all ages to learn on the fashion cycle, and how to improve their own sustainability.