Science

Jonathan Weis - Science and Mathematics

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What excites you most about working at Dublin?  Community and flexibility are the two qualities I value most at Dublin. Knowing every member of the community brings us together with a sense of common purpose. I also appreciate the flexibility that is available to faculty, regarding teaching styles, for example. Dublin strikes an appropriate balance between offering independence and guidance to teachers, a balance that has been valuable to me over the years, and which is helpful for new faculty, as well. Previously I taught in a small public high school which shared many of Dublin's virtues, but where the community aspect was weaker. We did not share the same goals to the extent that we do at Dublin.

Have you changed at all since you came to Dublin? How so? Dublin has made me more patient, I think. The variety of students and cultures at Dublin has helped me to understand the variety of backgrounds that students bring our community.

Why do you teach and what do you love about your discipline? I teach for many reasons. A principle benefit is the endless variety and stimulation that the profession offers. Teaching has not gotten old after twelve years here. It seems unlikely that this would be true of other pursuits.

What animates you? I am animated by a team of experts at Pixar studios. However, this is a secret and should stay that way.

What do you do outside of school that enhances your teaching? Or, what do you do outside of school that would surprise your students? It's hard to claim that much of what I do outside of school directly enhances my teaching. However I read a great deal on a variety of subjects, much of which informs my teaching indirectly. In addition, I use math constantly, whether I am checking that the volume of cordwood I was sold was priced honestly or working out the effort required to get home on my bike at the required time.

What do you do to push kids outside their comfort zone in the classroom? Students are probably most uncomfortable then they are responsible for demonstrating their thinking at the board. My Precalculus class has to do this a lot, which some of them find problematic.

Why is it fun to be in your classroom? Its fun to be in my classroom because I have fun, exciting, students.

Why did you choose Dublin School? I chose Dublin School in preference to the job I held at the time as a mechanical engineer. Although I had found teaching frustrating in the past, Dublin seemed to offer the potential of a better experience for me. I feel that events have vindicated that decision.

Katri Jackson - Science

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What excites you about working at Dublin?   I love the community here, both the students and the faculty. This is the most warm, welcoming place I have ever worked. It is easy to feel valued and included at Dublin. There is more camaraderie and support here than other places I have worked.

Why do you teach and what do you love about your discipline?  I get excited to learn new things, so it is fun to see that excitement in others. I love science because it is always changing, and the more I learn the better I understand the world around me.

What animates you?  Being outside. I have an obsession with spring wildflowers. I get very excited when the snow melts and they begin to appear. When you see a painted trillium you know that warm weather is around the corner! I love learning new plants, and I always hike with a flower book in my bag.

What do you do outside of school that enhances your teaching? Or, what do you do outside of school that would surprise your students?  I have recently become very interested in photography. Especially nature photography, wildflowers in particular.

What's unusual about the way you approach your subject?  I allow my students time to work out problems on their own before giving them the answers. I know there is more than one "right" way to approach a problem, so it is important to me that my students can find the best way for them.

What do you do to push kids outside their comfort zone in the classroom?  I incorporate as many inquiry based activities in my lesson planning as I can. The more chances that students have to think like a scientist and solve the given problem the more likely they will be to remember the skill in the future.

How do you teach to "the range", both the high achievers and those that are challenged by your discipline?  When science is hands-on it is easy for everyone to understand. I try to do as many labs, demonstrations and activities to help all students remember and retain what we do in class. The more you activity the more you remember.

What is the most surprising thing that happened in your classroom?  The most surprising thing for me is how many students will voluntarily show up for a chemistry club activity in the evening. I always prepare for the worst, there is nothing less cool than hanging out with your chemistry teacher in your free time, but somehow students always arrive and with enthusiasm!

Why is it fun to be in your classroom?  I don't lecture. Students in my classes learn through activities, experiments and exercises. I will hand out notes, but you should expect to be interacting in my class, not just copying from the board.

How did you choose Dublin School?  I didn't think I wanted to go back to working at a boarding school again, but Dublin is different. This is a warm place which sees potential in everyone.