Teaching is a career change for me. I spent the first part of my career as a biomedical research scientist in the biotechnology industry. Two main factors have led me to the education profession. The first factor is my concern that U.S. student science literacy has consistently fallen below the international average resulting in an ever-widening science achievement gap in the U.S. both globally and domestically, particularly between high and low performing school districts. The second factor is my desire to find new ways to share my enthusiasm for science, especially the life sciences. Prior to my formal entry into science education, I volunteered for a variety of STEM and K-12 science education advocacy and outreach programs, which I continue to be involved with today. These partnerships served as my entry point into the education profession and convinced me to pursue a full-time role in science education as a biology teacher.
My central teaching goal is to harness my enthusiasm for science, scientific research expertise, growing pedagogical knowledge, and teaching experiences to be effective in the classroom as well as with my colleagues. As a scientist, I always enjoyed using different methods of communication to explain concepts, propose ideas, and share data. After reflecting on my research career, I realized that one of my roles was as a teacher, albeit informally as a science communicator. My instructional and classroom management practices are shaped by my experiences working with and managing people from diverse educational and cultural backgrounds including different modes of learning, communication styles, and worldviews. These collective experiences form the basis of what I value most about education and provide the foundation of my educational philosophy which comprises cultivating a desire for lifelong learning, being a mentor and coach, promoting student responsibility and accountability, providing students with meaningful learning experiences, engaging in reflective practice and continuously working on my professional development.
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Marc Berger, Ph.D.