Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Earth & Space Science: Session 8

Carol Berlin; Framingham, Massachusetts

Carol Berlin“There’s so much I want a child to leave my class with. The first thing I want them to leave with is this feeling of confidence, that if they don’t understand something they can go out and work with what they have and try and understand and try to answer their questions. I want them to feel good enough about themselves that they realize it’s okay to have questions, that questions are good things.”

School at a Glance:
Charlotte Dunning School
LFramingham, Massachusetts

  • Grades: K-5
  • Enrollment: 509
  • Ethnicity:
    66% White
    16% Asian
    12% Hispanic
    4% African American
  • Percentage of students receiving free or reduced-price lunch:
    15% versus a state average of 29%

When she was in high school, Carol Berlin thought science was incredibly boring. “I remember… being totally disconnected to anything going on in science. We read a chapter, and we answered the questions at the end of the chapter. If you could read, you could do it, but that didn’t mean you understood it.” She says that changed when she had children of her own, particularly her son, whose first word, she jokes, must have been “why” — “he was very curious about science and I started exploring with him, and that’s really when I started teaching science.”

Carol decided to become a teacher, and when she returned to college to earn her certification, she focused on science education. “I took a science methods course at Wheelock College, with two fabulous teachers who inspired me. They taught me that you don’t have to have the answers, that you want the children to ask questions. Very powerful ideas… and when I started teaching, I felt very empowered to teach science.” For the past seven years, Carol has been teaching third grade at the Charlotte Dunning School, in Framingham, Massachusetts.

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