I did not have a formal mentor when I was a new teacher. As I struggled, several colleagues and an administrator must have seen some potential and offered me advice and support. I was glad to return the favor during my career as a classroom teacher and administrator by mentoring and providing professional development. However, when eligible for retirement, I was not ready to give up my role as a science educator. I saw this advice column/blog as a way to retool rather than retire!
Interacting with teachers through their questions (or informally over coffee at a conference or meeting), reflecting on issues of interest, and sharing concerns of new teachers as well as career-changers has been a rewarding opportunity.
However, after 10 years and 400 MsMentor blogs, it’s time to pass the baton to another. Thanks to all those who submitted questions, added comments, and shared resources through the blog and NSTA Reports.
Once again, I’m retooling not retiring. I still write professionally, and I’ll continue as an online advisor in NSTA’s Discussion Forums. I’m involved in local environmental groups, citizen science projects, and informal science organizations.
Helping students learn about the world around them as a science teacher is a noble calling. We have a responsibility to model our own interests while engaging students in STEM and environmental topics as they develop into informed residents of our communities who enjoy science as part of their lifelong learning.