“Come gather around people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
And if your breath to you is worth saving
Then you better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changing”
While the lyrics above may sound a bit ominous, they are also something to consider! It is an exciting time in New York State for science education…but it can also be an overwhelming time! When I started teaching high school science in 1985, communication was much more limited than now. The internet was not readily available, cell phones and text messaging had not yet been developed. For new teachers, developing lessons could be an overwhelming and isolating task. I was fortunate to start my career with a colleague that was more than willing to collaborate and was able to work with her to plan new lessons and work out the “kinks” as I began my teaching career.
As we begin the transition to NYSSLS and three-dimensional teaching and learning, the shifts in our classroom can be difficult to navigate alone. While some districts are actively working to begin the shifts, others are moving forward more slowly. If you are fortunate enough to work closely with a collegial department, you may have the support needed to begin to convert your lessons. For those of us that are the only discipline-specific teacher or work in a less than perfect department, there is a need to find resources and effective means of networking. The internet is a wealth of resources and information, but there is nothing like collaboration with another teacher to ease the burden of lesson-planning and gain professional expertise!
NOW is the perfect time to consider joining STANYS and encouraging your colleagues to join as well! STANYS has been at the forefront of providing professional development opportunities directly related to incorporating the new standards into classroom practice. The annual conference in November is only one of many opportunities. The Suffolk section has also provided local conferences for the past several years and is actively seeking ideas for providing the best possible support and professional development for its members. Membership has its benefits including:
the opportunity to network with science teachers across the state
reduced cost of attendance at conferences a chance to have your voice heard in science education concerns in NYS publications that will increase your awareness of issues concerning science educators reduced joint cost of membership in NSTA
We are looking for your input and feedback! Involvement at the local level of STANYS is an ideal way to learn more about NYSSLS and to increase your professional network of enthusiastic teachers. In this time of change, STANYS can be the support that you are looking for. If you are already a member, try to commit to attending a meeting or a conference to learn more about what we do. Approach your district for funds to attend the state conference. Encourage your colleagues, especially elementary teachers, to consider joining! If you are not a member, follow the link below to join! (Membership in the state level includes membership in the section level.)