“Go Out and Love Some More”

“I am very grateful and appreciative of all that the Golden Apple Science Inquiry team has done to help me improve my teaching of science, but also my love for it. Before being a part of this great endeavor, I was hesitant about teaching science and doubted my ability to teach it well. After going through the workshops and learning from the amazing staff, I am more confident in my abilities and enthusiastic about science. My students also look forward to Science class more than ever, and it’s in a small part because I’m excited about it and a big part because they are engaged and learning. A million ‘thank yous’ to each and every one of you!!!”    Sonia Rodriguez, Nightingale Elementary

What is very gratifying about being part of a successful professional development program like ISI is hearing back from the teachers who have participated in it. Hearing that it has changed someone’s teaching, has built in them the confidence to teach a subject well, has even been life changing is one of the best things ever.

We are fortunate to have wonderful positive feedback from the teachers with whom we work. Quite simply, they love the program. And, I have to admit to basking in the glow of that.

ISI professional development is hands on and fun!

ISI professional development is hands on and fun! Here, teachers construct a workable pulley system.

But frankly, and in less ISI centric moments, I want to be absolutely certain to communicate a very important message about effective professional development, including ours. It’s just the beginning. I like to think that we help lay the ground work for inquiry-based teaching. But we also have a strong commitment to connecting teachers to other quite exciting professional development. There is a whole world of great learning opportunities out there.

As teachers we often say we are committed to helping our students develop a passion for “life long learning.” That has to be more than a mission statement phrase. It has to be the mission itself. For teachers, life long learning must include a fair measure of ongoing professional development from year one all the way through to retirement. We can never know enough. There is always more to learn.

In that spirit, I want to share several outstanding opportunities that two of our local partner institutions are offering Chicago area teachers.

From the Museum of Science and Industry, here’s a great offering for 4th through 8th grade teachers, and it has a fast approaching deadline.

Apply Soon for Free Science Teacher Courses!
Deadline for applications is next Friday, September 5.

There’s just a week left for Chicago-area middle school science teachers to apply for MSI’s free 2014-15 teacher professional development courses.

MSI offers hands on inquiry based professional development focused on specific content areas.

MSI offers hands on inquiry-based professional development focused on specific content areas.

Don’t miss out on the chance to attend one of our two course offerings this school year: anatomy and life science (All About You) and space science and engineering (Our Place in Space). Courses target 4th- through 8th-grade educators in the Chicago area with limited experience teaching science, as well as teachers in high-needs schools.

From the Field Museum comes this irresistible invitation.

Join us on Saturdays in the 2014-2015 school year for FREE professional development focused on using collections with students. Meet veteran Harris Learning Collection members as they share their tips and tricks for implementing Harris Learning Collection materials into the classroom. Discover the benefits of inquiry based learning, and explore this methodology by engaging with our unique artifacts and specimens. You’ll have a chance to work closely with a variety of hands-on materials and practice planning for your grade level and classroom needs.  

Imagine interacting with specimens from the Field Museum's vast collection!

Imagine interacting with specimens from the Field Museum’s vast collection!

All workshops begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at noon. Please click on Event Details for more information on each session offered this fall. Pre-registration Is Required – Email harris@fieldmuseum.org

  • Free with pre-registration
  • Free parking available

The Field Museum is more than a museum.  It’s also a premier research institution with 140 scientists doing scientific research both at the museum and at sites around the world, and it has a collection of over 26 million artifacts and specimens, only 1% of which are on public display.

But if you don’t happen to live in the Chicago area, both museums have great online resources for educators. Engaging your own curious mind is surely one of the best kinds of professional development out there, a kind of do-it-yourself project.

In case you’re wondering what any of the above has to do with the title of this post. That’s actually a line from director Hal Ashby’s 1971 cult classic Harold and Maude. To avoid having to give a spoiler alert, I’ll simply say that when Harold tells Maude, “I love you. I love you.” Maude tenderly responds, “That’s wonderful, Harold. Go out and love some more.” And in the end, isn’t that the essence of life and learning? Go out and love some more.

~ Penny

Learn more about ISI here.



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Filed under Field Museum, inquiry science, Museum of Science and Industry, professional development, Uncategorized

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