My Salient Attributes include:
Highly effective at capturing and retaining student involvement in the classroom through a balance of technology infused hands on and immersive simulation adventures, labs, class discussions, and long term science research projects including science fairs and field studies.
Technology Fluent: Personally own and operate a $50,000+ IT ensemble including a Macintosh devices and hundreds of applications, video and audio software and recording studio equipment.
Experienced in teaching Middle Years Program and 6 years Science Department Head.
Thorough knowledge of soccer as a player, coach and referee in 43 years with the game.
Professionally, I am resourceful, conditioned to working long hours, always seeking improvement, creative, and bring a desire for sharing the research, experiences, equipment, and scientific knowledge I have gathered including 11 years of collegiate level study (earning of a Masters Degree in Science) and 18 years of classroom teaching (chemistry, physics, astronomy, geology, biology, ecology, and environmental science), 21st Century immersive learning adventures, and athorough knowledge of soccer.
I view Science as being both outwardly experimental and inwardly experiential. More than simply the acquisition of facts and theories, I strive, through a hands-on approach of discovery and inquiry, to bring out in my students the determination to overstand the reasons and life-lessons behind the observed phenomena. From this perspective, science serves as a powerful vehicle for the discovery of the underlying unity in the apparent diversity as well as the development of the student’s intellectual power, empathy, and discipline of character.
I like for Science to be a time in the students’ day where they can experience and express a positive creative synthesis of their various personal talents within a disciplined and structured environment. Often in my classroom students are asked to draw upon their knowledge and skills from the various branches of academics including mathematics, theater arts/public speaking, writing, conceptual design and drafting, computer literacy, social studies, and the intrapersonal skills necessary for accomplishing activities involving other group members.
A typical day in my science classroom includes time for discussions about the day’s topic and a hands-on lab. My laboratory assignments take place both indoors and outdoors and are individual and group assignments that are geared towards leading the students to the higher levels of Bloom’s Cognition Taxonomy.
From my yearly travels to India and going back to my days as a youth playing soccer wherein I had opportunities to interact with players from around the world, I have always possessed a deep interest and enjoyment in breaking the barriers of prejudice by sharing those things that are common across cultures and appreciating those things that make the world’s cultures beautifully unique.
Though I experienced an expansion of cultural awareness in traveling to Italy by myself when I was 16 and 20, it was my visits to Jamaica that were influential on my approach to scientific learning. I traveled to Jamaica in 1992 for the first time as a tourist, yet having a strong yearning to interact with the common folk outside of the tourist centers, I had opportunities during my time there to sit and reason with Jamaican boys near my age. I was speechless and forever changed as I listened to their profound breadth of knowledge concerning the flora and fauna and subtle scientific understandings of nature with respect to the interconnectedness of ecology and system interactions as we walked through the jungle. They would mention that yes, an ant has a head, thorax, and abdomen, but even deeper still are the universal values the ants demonstrate in their daily living, such as perseverance, selflessness, determination, and discipline. They taught me that by taking a deeper view of scientific observations it activates our capacity as scientists to garner knowledge that can enable us to experience inner transformations and a more harmonious outer expression of our scientific applications. Additionally, the Jamaicans’ sense of positivity and happiness in the midst of material poverty forced my untrained mind to begin a quest to acquire a state of mind that was in tune with “the story within the story”. From encounters such as these I have forged the foundation of my approach to science in the classroom with my students- CIA: Constant Integrated Awareness.
From Jamaica I returned to the United Sates with a burning conviction that I must awaken something within that had been lying dormant for too long- a sincere and one pointed quest to understand the core of myself. Though the quest continues to this day, after three years of ardent and focused training, which included changing my diet, friends, physical conditioning and goals, I returned to Jamaica once again.
On the outskirts of Montego Bay, on the porch of a Jamaican elder, I experienced true silence for the first time in my life. As the sun made it way across the sky and ended the day with a rainbow over the city on the other side of the distant bay, I sat as a student laser focused on every word coming from my teachers. I listened with rapt attention to men who were in ages from 16-93 years old, as they wove magical wavelengths of wisdom and philosophy into a frequency that was able to penetrate into a profoundly deep inner peace. I can distinctly recall the moment. I sat with a young boy as the fragrance of boiling coconut milk vegetable soup wafted in the air. The eldest gentleman present was describing the days of hearing Marcus Garvey speak in the downtown square of Montego Bay just after the turn of the century. As he ended his lesson, my heart and mind became almost completely stilled. So still, that for those few brief moments lasting a minute or so, no longer was there black and white, old or young, or the need for language to be able to communicate. Our hearts beat as one. Our minds experienced the same tranquility, and I was, for the first time in my life, unplugged from the “Matrix”. I believe this is the type of peace that Haile Selassie I spoke of in his timeless discourses to the United Nations- a peace that is the foundation for harmony among all nations.
I had similar experiences of universal brotherhood while attending an international teachers conference on human values near Bangalore, India. I recall the time I was having lunch in the cafeteria when a teacher from the Middle East sat down across the table from me. As we began our lunch in silence we could perceive a strong sense of peace between us. I ventured to ask him which country he was from and he replied, “Iraq”. I told him I was from the U.S. and our eyes glistened as we both smiled with a knowing that true unity among nations can exist, though warmongers and others like to paint the picture that our respective countries can never find peace.
It is experiences of this nature that formed some of the major motivations for me embarking on a journey in international teaching. From living among people struggling for daily bread on the Ghana coast of West Africa, to the hotbed of war during the Hezbollah uprisings in Lebanon after the 2006 Israeli invasion, to the tumults of Venezuela, the human experiences have been deeply rewarding and the goal has always been the same, setting an example for the youth to follow to make a brighter tomorrow.