Over the past three years, I have taught fourth and fifth grade science at Ansonville Elementary School in Ansonville, North Carolina. One of my main focuses in my teaching is to give my students practical, hands on, real world explorations and application of the scientific concepts that they are learning in class. When I was presented with the opportunity to apply for a Kenan Fellowship, the immediate appeal to me was the hands on and practical nature of the program. By being able to work with other like-minded teachers and share ideas and strategies, and through partnering with industries to see how the concepts that I teach in science class are applied in a variety of careers, I feel that I will be able to begin the new school year with a wealth of ideas, perspectives, and experiences that I can use to make my instruction even more relevant to my students.
One of the aspects that most separates the Kenan Fellows Program from typical professional development is its internship component. This internship places each teacher with a mentor in an industrial or research setting and provides real world, hands on experiences that teachers can take back to use in their classrooms. For my Kenan Fellows internship, I will be spending four weeks during the summer of 2016 with Pee Dee Electric in Wadesboro, North Carolina. During this time, I will be working with Pee Dee Electric employees, learning about energy cooperatives and all that goes into delivering electricity to homes and businesses. My mentor Ashley Haynes is Pee Dee Electric’s communications specialist, but during my internship, I will be working with others in a variety of positions throughout the company as well.