Shifting the Educator Narrative in Support of the STEM Model
One of the challenges of introducing a STEM model to any school is shifting both student and teacher perspectives on what it can accomplish. Educators must redefine themselves as STEM teachers that can impact the career trajectory of their students. Students must begin to look at what STEM pathways can lead to careers of their choice.
When Adams 12 implemented its STEM-based education model, it sent educators to the STEM Institute to learn best practices and teaching techniques.
Suzi Murphy was a new educator at Adams 12 when they first rolled out their STEM model. She giddly expressed her excitement to take on something so unique while other educators weren’t as sure about the changes required to take on the transformation.
Suzi hit the ground running when she created her problem-based learning experiences. She took on difficult political and social topics like the Holocaust, low literacy rates and poverty epidemic.
Her passion for the STEM model grew, as more of her students shared their dreams of pursuing STEM-related careers. Suzi became a STEM ambassador, coaching and mentoring colleagues in Adams 12.
After a number of years being the STEM motivational mentor for Adams 12, Suzi took an assistant principal role in another district. While the experience was fulfilling, she desperately missed teaching the STEM model in a classroom environment. In a rare move, she went back to Adams 12 to again advocate for and teach STEM courses.
Suzi credits the STEM model for the opportunity to be innovative in the classroom, igniting passion in students in a hands-on way. She appreciates the affect the model has on leadership, as it brings school administrators and support staff together in a unique way.
Suzi will take on the role of assistant principal at STEM Launch in the fall of 2018.