Wow, do I have big shoes to fill! Mary Bigelow is stepping down as NSTA’s original Ms. Mentor after years of advising teachers across the globe. She has demonstrated a noteworthy commitment to helping the science teaching community with thoughtful, sage advice on a vast array of topics. And now I’m taking over. Wow.
As I started writing my initial blogs, I was reminded of my first day of teaching. The head of the science department (and my former biology teacher!) put his arm around my shoulders and said, “Now that you’re here, you’ll really learn how to teach.” In my guided tour of the inner workings of the school he pointed out everyone’s filing cabinets in the science prep area. “In here, you’ll find everything you need—tests, labs, assignments, diagrams, notes. If you can’t find something—just ask! We’re here to help.” I immediately got the sense of community as I embarked on my career. From this initial exchange I took up the torch and committed myself to sharing, mentoring, running workshops and supporting my colleagues in any way I can.
Now that I have retired, writing an advice column feels like a natural progression in my journey as a science educator. I just hope that I can reach the standard set by Mary and provide you with advice that will be helpful on your own journey in our teaching community.
Kindest regards and…just ask! I’m here to help.