Young science teacher at Franklin Regional enjoying benefits of NSTA fellowship
A Franklin Regional Senior High School chemistry teacher has joined a prestigious group that is dedicated to professional development, peer support and enhancing the quality of science education.
Rebecca Hauser, a third-year teacher at the high school, is in the midst of a one-year fellowship with the National Science Teachers Association as a participant in its New Science Teacher Academy.
During this academic year, Hauser is being mentored online by a veteran chemistry teacher. She also will continue to take part in a variety of web-based professional development activities, including web seminars.
The association is the largest professional organization for science teachers in the world, with about 55,000 members nationwide, said spokeswoman Kate Falk. The association started the academy in 2007 with the goal of reducing the attrition rate of second- through fifth-year science teachers.
“A lot of times, new science teachers say they feel isolated, and they don't have a lot of resources for support,” Falk said. “So the program is designed to enhance teacher confidence, in addition to improving teachers' content knowledge.”
Of more than 1,000 applicants, 200 were selected as fellows this academic year.
Described as dedicated, kind and inspirational by curriculum coordinator Julie Shank, Hauser said her main goal in the classroom is to show students how chemistry is relevant in their lives. She does this by showing students real-life chemistry applications and incorporating technology such as iPhone cellphones into her lessons.
“Science is always changing,” Hauser said. “It's never going to stagnate. It's up and coming, and chemistry is the future.”
Hauser graduated from St. Francis University three years ago and began teaching at Franklin Regional soon after. A lover of learning, she currently is working toward a master's degree in science education from St. Vincent University, near Latrobe.
Senior high Principal Ron Suvak said Hauser is driven to improve as an educator and to refine her practice every year.
“She is, first and foremost, an exceptional practitioner in the classroom,” Suvak said. “She is able to design lesson plans that engage students, which leads to high levels of learning for all her kids. Secondly, she is able to build meaningful, positive relationships with all of her stakeholders — her kids, her colleagues, administration, parents.
“She's everything you could hope for in an educator and then some.”
The fellowship will culminate in a national conference in Boston in April, which each fellow will attend courtesy of the academy's sponsors. There, fellows will attend workshops and meet the peers and mentor with whom they have discussed content, method and pedagogy throughout the school year.
After completing the program, Hauser hopes to become a mentor.
“I really found this program to be so beneficial,” she said. “And I would like to share my knowledge that I have gained and will continue to gain from other people with other mentees in the future.”
Andrea Frazier is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Export historical group on its own with church acquisition
- Volunteers spruce up old Sardis Cemetery in Murrysville
- Council asks for more detail on Delmont library plan
- Franklin Regional’s proposed budget raises taxes by 1.82 mills
- Delmont Council approves bids for paving, storm sewer work
- Franklin Regional moves forward on major technology upgrades