There are certain standards that a teacher must demonstrate when teaching a science class. These standards must be met in order for the curriculum to be taught in a way that every child will understand. I believe that every future teacher should understand each of these standards to help them have a vast amount of knowledge about the expectations they have from their employers, parents, and students.
In Standard 1, the teacher needs to be familiar with the content of science. Knowing about science is vital knowledge that should be learned before teaching the subject. If I did not fully understand the major concepts, principles, theories, laws and interrelationships of science as stated in Standard 1a, I do not believe I could teach students about them. Not just knowing about science is important, but applying it to everyday thinking is essential as well. Being able to research and gather information about a particular subject and conduct a full report with data, designs, and evaluations is needed when teaching science (Standard 1d).
Teachers have to prove they are prepared to teach the nature of science (Standard 2). The history of the development of philosophies and practices of science is important for future teachers to recognize. Understanding the order in which certain discoveries and new ideas about the nature of science is significant when teaching elementary school students (Standard 2a). Students will have to analyze studies of the nature of science, some of them consisting of untrue or questionable information (Standard 2c). As a teacher, I need to be able to distinguish whether or not information is true or simply a person's under researched hypothesis.
Teachers who question their students are using inquiry as their teaching method. Students need to know that when conducting experiments, bringing outside knowledge, inference, and background information of a subject can help with discoveries. Since this is important for the student to know, as a future teacher I need to remember that all students will not have the same background information. Having the students work alone to brainstorm their own ideas about a subject, then work within a group can allow the student to gain knowledge about an unfamiliar area. Questions such as, "why?" and "how do you know?" are essential questions for both myself and the students should ask. Questioning the students and allowing them to be able to ask the class questions is a way that can improve the performance of experiments. It is also a way to understand certain information (Standard 3).
To help engage students in studied issues related to science Standard 4 is referred. As a future teacher of science I need to be aware that students might have questions about problems or concerns about things going on in their community. Future teachers like myself, should take advantage of the local issues and be able to translate them into a science experiment. Students can state the problem and come up with ideas to better the issues in ways they think will be most efficient (Standard 4).
The general skills of teaching are mentioned in Standard 5 and apply to teaching science for elementary students. As we all know, all students learn in different ways. Teachers have to be aware of this, especially teachers that teach science. This subject is sometimes a more difficult subject to understand; therefore, it is extremely important for the teacher to know more than one way to convey the information to the students (Standard 5a). Teaching strategies such as group work and technological tools can be a way to help students learn (Standard 5d). Also, teachers need to remember that students will have ideas and knowledge of things before coming into the classroom. As a future elementary teacher, I need to be able to explain and teach science without discouraging students with the new information given that may be different from their prior experiences or beliefs (Standard 5e).
As I am learning more about the education program, I am realizing that the standards and curriculum that teachers must meet are extremely important. In the NSTA Standards under the sixth standard it is said that teachers begin with the end in mind (Standard 6). Having the standards and knowing and understanding them can be a way to make the planning of lesson plan easier. Being familiar with the curriculum and the standards in which are required to teach the information will help me, as a future teacher, develop lesson plans that are thorough and rich in content (Standard 6a).
Relating science to a community assists in teaching students about using natural resources (Standard 7). A great way to help students understand that science is happening everywhere and to familiarize them with simple, local science experiments is to get them involved with the community (Standard 7b). Being familiar with local zoos, walking trails, scientist, etc., could help in teaching certain lessons. This could help raise good questions for future science experiments.
Understanding the assessments mentioned in Standard 8 will help future teachers grow after teaching their first lesson. Being able to teach a lesson, have the students complete the assignment, and then evaluate the assessment for myself is a way to inform me of the information I need to spend more time teaching to the students. The assessment can give me an overall idea of what material is being retained. If I notice that a certain teaching strategy is not working after the assessment is given, I can then analyze the results and think of a different strategy or approach to teach the material (Standard 8b). The students could use the assessment to understand how they take tests and use the results as a guide for future tests (Standard 8c). Knowing that this standard is required is great. I believe that students should be able to take an assessment and get the graded work back promptly to know what they missed so they can analyze their work and try to develop a different studying tactic.
The safety and lives of the students is very important (Standard 9). Therefore, safety rules and regulations have to be implemented in the classroom. This standard is one of the most important ones. As a future teacher, I need to be aware of everything that is happening is my classroom. When conducting experiments, knowing how to prepare, setup, demonstrate, and dispose items is what will help the experiments go smoothly and be accident free (Standard 9b). Proper handling of all living organisms is a must (Standard 9d).
The professional growth of teachers is important in order for them to be effective (Standard 10). Teachers are pushed to continue their education even after completing coursework. Science is an ever-changing subject because of new ideas and discoveries being made all the time (Standard 10a). Reflecting on certain ways of teaching and gathering information about subjects from students or even parents can help with classroom activities. When different ideas are brought together as one to explain one lesson, it can help benefit and reach each student (Standard 10c).
Being familiar with the curriculum and the standards that are given to teach science is very important. Knowing what needs to be done with each standard can make the development of lesson plans go smoothly. After reading the NSTA Standards for Science Teacher Preparation, I have gained a better understanding of what will be expected of me when I do become an elementary school teacher and I am eager to learn more. What I know for sure is that the minimum should not be my goal as a teacher. Striving to learn more will benefit me and my students, the future of our world.