I am a physics teacher at Brookline High School, a large public school located in the Boston area. I mostly teach 9th grade physics (students age 14-15); I have also taught AP Physics (calculus-based), a science course for English language learners, and a course for special education students. Before coming to Brookline, I was a middle school math and science teacher in Sudbury, MA.
In addition to working with high school students, I’ve taught a science methods course to teachers in a master’s program at Simmons College. I’ve also been an educational consultant for CPO Science for more than ten years. I’ve written textbook chapters and lab investigations and have provided professional development to teachers across the US.
I applied for a Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching grant so that I would have a chance to think about education on a broader scale and to observe classroom teaching in schools that are very different from my own. I have a personal connection to Finland; my boyfriend in Finnish and I have traveled to Finland numerous times. I spent one day shadowing a Finnish physics teacher in 2013, and I was keen to have the opportunity to visit more schools.
In the spring of 2014, I learned that I was selected for the grant and that I would be spending the spring of 2015 in Helsinki. While I am interested in all aspects of Finnish education, I will be focusing my research on my project, Supporting Special Education Students in Science: Lessons from Finnish Comprehensive Schools. The project idea arose from my co-teaching of physics classes with a special educator over the past few years.
The Fulbright Center paired me with an advisor who has been very helpful in arranging activities for me. I will be observing in schools in Helsinki, Espoo, Oulu, and Rovaniemi, auditing a course on the Finnish educational system at the University of Helsinki, attending conferences, and doing anything else that comes my way.
While grading tests and lab reports are quite enjoyable hobbies, I also sometimes find myself rock climbing, doing yoga, taking photos, biking, running, and cooking vegetarian food. Learning Finnish can also be included in my list of pursuits, but whether it can be grouped with my hobbies depends on my current level of frustration with words containing too many ö’s and y’s.
Pretending to drive a Trabant and looking slightly crazy (or so I’ve been told)