My Kenan Fellowship has given me many new ideas for my science classes in the upcoming school year. Through my internship with Pee Dee Electric, I have made friends and contacts that will be able to play a role in helping my students learn about electrical energy. I am looking forward to both having my mentors in the classroom to work with my students, as well as being able to take my students to Pee Dee Electric to visit. In the spring, my students will have the opportunity to work with my mentors as we build our solar energy generator. One thing that I have gained from this fellowship is that I feel I have a better understanding of how to connect class material to the real world. Being able to work on projects this year like our solar generator will help my students see the importance and relevance of what they are learning, and it will help make my students’ educational experiences far more memorable.
Another aspect about my Kenan Fellowship that has helped me has been meeting so many other outstanding teachers that are using innovative strategies in their science classrooms. Being able to talk to other teachers that have taught renewable energy and done solar projects with their classes has given me ideas for my own project to make it an even better experience for my students. It has also helped me feel more confident in some of my own strategies in my classroom by talking to teacher that use similar strategies such as flipped classrooms, class YouTube channels, and hands-on science activities. Coming from a smaller district with few other elementary science teachers, it is encouraging to see the successes of other Kenan Fellows in their own districts and classrooms.