Being a distance science teacher for ESU #5 is much different than being a classroom science teacher or even a distance learning teacher. Our role comprises two roles: find appropriate, vetted science curriculum and work with our teachers to implement that curriculum in their classroom.
As a distance science teacher, the most common question we have to answer is “What exactly do you do?” The distance science teachers – Matt and Patrick – do the best they can to answer it as briefly as possible: We try to make science as engaging, interesting, hands-on, applicable, and most importantly, fun for our ESU students and teacher in grades 3-6 that we work with throughout the school year.
The most formal answer to this question is described as science teacher with a small amount of professional development for teachers thrown in as well.
Districts that participate in the distance learning science program have bi-weekly lessons for grades 3 through 6 via Zoom, along with roughly quarterly lessons where the lessons are live in the classroom. Teachers who work with our vetted curriculum meet a few times a year to discuss new units and to address issues with current units that are in use. Support is provided to these teachers through trainings, video conferences, and more hands-on work in the classroom along with the lessons and access to materials. Other science teachers in the ESU districts who do not use the vetted units are still supported through the bi-weekly Zoom lessons with carefully designed lessons that align to Nebraska state science standards and parallel the vetted units closely.
Article written by Patrick Brommer, ESU 5 DL Science Teacher