Supported Site California State University, Long Beach: Teacher-In-Residence

Successes

  • We have the best TIRs!
  • TIR-2 (Beck) developed and produced a monthly newsletter "What's ν?" for local area teachers. The newsletter was continued by TIR-3 (Dwyer) and included photos of PhysTEC events, (Open Houses, Demo Days). This is sent to various listservs, posted on the project website and distributed at monthly demo days and other presentations.
  • The TIR presented Physics Department Colloquia on "What I've Learned - 25 Years Teaching High School Physics" (Ziolkowski), "High School Physics Standards: A Nationwide Comparison" (Beck), and "My Journey Back to the Beach" (Kevin Dwyer).
  • Each TIR co-taught PHYS 390 and 490.
  • TIRs have mentored new teachers - visited classrooms and provided ongoing support to 10 novice physics teachers. Many prospective physics teachers observed in each of the TIR's classrooms.
  • The TIR-2 (Beck) was a guest presenter at the Association of Future Science Educators (AFSE is sponsored by the Science Education Department to support future K-12 science teachers) professional development seminar series on December 6, 2011. The workshop for the CSTA/NSTA student chapter was titled "How to Do Physical Science Labs with "Stuff" from the 99 Cent Store!" December 6, 2011.
  • TIR-1 (Ziolkowski) attended the PhysTEC meetings in Portland, OR (July 2010) and Austin, TX (May 2011).
  • TIR-1 (Ziolkowski) presented at the Southern California AAPT meeting at Azusa Pacific University (Nov. 2010) and the 2011 AAPT Summer Meeting.
  • TIR-2 (Beck) attended the PhysTEC meetings in Ontario, CA (Jan 2012) and Philadelphia, PA (July 2012).
  • TIR-2 (Beck) presented at the annual AAPT meeting and the annual CSTA meeting (the latter presentation included PhysTEC Scholar students as co-presenters).
  • TIR-3 (Dwyer) presented a session on "Our Favortite Demos" with co-PI (Henriques) at CSTA annual conference in San Jose (Oct 2012).
  • TIR-3 (Dwyer) will attend the PhysTEC TIR meeting in Portland (July 2013).
  • TIR-3 (Dwyer) will present a talk on the PHYS 490 (Pedagogical Content Knowledge) course at AAPT summer meeting in Portland (July 2013).
  • TIR-3 (Dwyer) was selected as Anaheim Union High School District Teacher of the Year. He was then selected as a semifinalist for the Orange County Teacher of the Year. His selection for this honor was strongly influenced by his work as TIR in helping to recruit and prepare physics teachers.
  • We have already selected the next year's TIR. While not an official TIR (funding sources are different and responsibilities will be altered as well), Meredith Ashbran will be co-teaching PHYS490 and PHYS390. She did a master's thesis about the PHYS490 course and has participated in Open House and Demo Days.

Challenges

  • Participating in the out-of-town meeting during the school year was difficult to arrange for a part-time TIR.
  • Video conferences were difficult to attend during the school day due to the school internet site blocks and finding class coverage.

  • Teaching full in high school and being TIR presented time management challenges, particularly when co-teaching PCK course, trying to visit all undergraduate Physics classes, present a colloquium, and prepare CSTA conference presentation.

Sustainability

  • PHYS 390 and 490 are institutionalized and will be offered as a part of the Physics major curriculum. The TIR will be a co-instructor for those courses.
  • After the PhysTEC grant, the TIRs salary to co-teach the courses will be paid by the Math & Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI) supported by the California State University System-wide initiative.

Lessons Learned

  • A part-time TIR is easier to arrange and less expensive than a full-time TIR. At CSULB, which is a comprehensive public university located in Los Angeles metropolitan area, we have many excellent teachers in a short driving distance.
  • A part-time coordinator working in the college's student support center was more efficient to organize the events. This person was also responsible for the webpage development and oversight, data collection, and coordinating with other student support programs in the College. This seems to be a much better way to do administrative duties than to use faculty or TIR time.

List of TIRs over the Project

  • [2010 - 2011]: [Rod Ziolkowski] - A 25-year veteran of the classroom and active provider of professional development, Rod is the 1993 Presidential Award winner for science teaching. He currently teaches physics and chairs the science department at Whitney High School, Cerritos, California.
  • [2011-2012]: [Katie Beck] - Katie has taught middle and high school physical science and physics for 15 years. She just completed a master's thesis examining physics standards in all 50 states. She has served as a Lead Teacher for CSULB's summer science camps and she has worked on several grant-funded projects in Science Education. She currently teaches at Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove, California.
  • [2012-2013]: [Kevin Dwyer] - Kevin has been teaching since 1994 and currently teaches three levels of physics at Cypress High School in Cypress, California. He was selected for "Teachers in Space: Suborbital Astronautics Workshop" in 2011. He is the advisor for the Physics Club, the organization through which students do events such as Angry Nerds (shooting water balloons at teachers), Slow Bike Race, Physical Phytness Challenge (Physics obstacle course relay race) and Boat Races.

Finding and Hiring a TIR

  • Identify the qualified candidates based on the recommendation from the Science Education colleagues or the Education faculty connected to the local districts.
  • For a part-time TIR, hiring a TIR is relatively simple. A TIR is hired as an independent contractor to the funded project.
  • We have tried hard to select TIRs from different districts each year in an effort to increase the impact and raise awareness around the Los Angeles Basin.

Typical TIR Activities

  • TIRs co-teach PHYS 390, Early teaching experience course.
  • TIRs develop and co-teach PHYS 490, Physics topic specific teaching methodology course.
  • TIRs develop and lead activities for the Fall and Spring Open house and Social Mixer events.
  • TIRs create monthly newsletter.
  • Each TIR gives a Physics Department Colloquium in the beginning of the Fall semester, and he/she is introduced to the department.
  • TIR participated in all leadership team meetings and debriefed with PIs on a regular basis.
  • TIR visited all intro algebra- and calculus-based physics classes to talk about the option of teaching and provide the contact information.
  • Attend SPS meetings throughout the year.
  • TIRs have mentored new teachers - visited classrooms and provided ongoing support to 10 novice physics teachers. Many prospective physics teachers observed in each of the TIR's classrooms.
  • TIR-1 and 2 were guest presenters at the Noyce Scholars professional development seminar series. They met with Noyce Scholars to understand their needs.
  • TIR attended the TA professional development class (SCED 580) to discuss teaching physics.
  • Participated in PhysTEC conferences, including the TIR professional development workshop required by the National PhysTEC project.
  • TIR-2 (Beck) did a workshop for the CSTA/NSTA student chapter "How to Do Physical Science Labs with "Stuff" from the 99 Cent Store!" December 6, 2011.
  • TIR-1 (Ziolkowski) attended the PhysTEC meetings in Portland, OR (July 2010) and Austin, TX (May 2011).
  • TIR-1 (Ziolkowski) presented at the Southern California AAPT meeting at Azusa Pacific University (Nov. 2010) and the 2011 AAPT Summer Meeting.
  • TIR-2 (Beck) attended the PhysTEC meetings in Ontario, CA (Jan 2012) and Philadelphia, PA (July 2012)
  • TIR-2 (Beck) presented at the annual AAPT meeting and the annual CSTA meeting (the latter presentation included PhysTEC Scholar students as co-presenters).
  • TIR-3 (Dwyer) presented a session on "Our Favorite Demos" with co-PI (Henriques) at CSTA annual conference in San Jose (Oct 2012).
  • TIR-3 (Dwyer) will attend the PhysTEC meetings in Portland (July 2013).
  • TIR-3 (Dwyer) will present a talk on the Phys 490 (PCK) course at AAPT summer meeting in Portland (July 2013).
  • Recruit next year's TIR.
  • Draft plans to engage the new TIR during the current year.
  • The outgoing TIR orients the new TIR by reviewing ongoing activities, departmental challenges, support networks and resources.