Feb. 9 lecture features accomplished alumna

The ASU Polytechnic Campus 20th Anniversary Alumni Lecture Series continues Feb. 9 with Kristi Glassmeyer (MEd ’07). She will present “Teaching with Impact: Molding Our Future Scientific Minds” at 6 p.m. in the Student Union.

Kristi Glassmeyer

Glassmeyer earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University and the Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a science emphasis from Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College on the ASU Polytechnic campus. She has made presentations nationally as a representative of the college. Glassmeyer is chair of the science department on the Erie Campus of Arizona College Preparatory, where she teaches AP Biology, Honors Biology and Honors Science Research. Her AP Biology class is certified for dual enrollment, allowing high school students to earn credit at Chandler Gilbert Community College. Glassmeyer is certified as a highly qualified teacher in biology and general science for K–12.

Q&A with Kristi Glassmeyer

How would you describe “teaching with impact”?

Teaching with impact means providing students with the skills necessary to be successful and inspiring them to find and pursue their passions, whatever they may be.

Do you feel your experience at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College prepared you to teach with impact?

Yes. While pursuing my master’s, I was given the opportunity to develop skills needed to be an effective and reflective teacher through work inside and outside the classroom. I developed curriculum for use in the community and in undergraduate science methods classes. I worked alongside key stakeholders, educators and students in the community. Additionally, I was offered opportunities to learn through trips throughout the state, across the country and internationally. The idea that meaningful learning takes place in and out of the classroom is a significant component of the way I approach teaching today. My experiences through my master’s taught me to challenge myself while respecting the true art of teaching in order to make the biggest impact on my students and those around me.

Is the teaching of science in U.S. schools keeping up with the pace of scientific discovery and technology?

As a generalization, across the United States science education is not keeping up. However, this has not deterred teachers who are striving to make an impact. This is partly due to the natural relationship between education and discovery. Education will likely always respond to those advances in our society. For those of us involved in education, we should not look at this as a negative. It means science education is never standing still. As educators, we continue to instill in our students certain qualities and skills inherent in a solid educational foundation.

What significant changes have you seen in the teaching of science in the last 15 years?

The introduction of school choice and the increasing number of charter schools in Arizona has led to an increase in competition for students. We are seeing the formation of schools with a more realized niche. As school choice and charter schools continue to develop, the metamorphosis of the educational system has the potential to benefit all students.

What are the challenges for science teachers?

Arizona science teachers have to recognize their importance to the future of our communities. Science education can seem intimidating given the continued development of science and technology. When some teachers started, certain scientific advances were not even thought possible. For others, the amount of science content expected to be known at certain levels seems high. The intertwined nature of science education with new discoveries is something science educators must embrace in order to inspire our students to adjust to and learn from change.

In light of all the challenges facing educators, is this a good time to become a science teacher in Arizona?

For many, to become a science teacher is more of a calling than a profession you choose. In a way, it chooses you. The rewards cannot be measured by money. This is a profession taken on by those who are accepting of the challenges, who then have the potential to make a difference every day. To accept the challenge and make an impact is a commitment of love. Many science teachers I had the pleasure of working with over the years are some of the most giving people I have met. They never give up sharing their passion for what they teach.

The Alumni Lecture Series is a year-long celebration of the 20th anniversary of the ASU Polytechnic campus. Change-making alumni from each of the six colleges at the campus return to talk about their time at ASU and their careers since.