My name is Christine Schepeler and I teach 7th grade science. This is my fourth year teaching, and my second year at BCCS; previously I taught 7th and 8th grade math, science, technology and economics in Phoenix, Arizona.
I went to the University of Michigan for undergrad and majored in Political Science, Communications, and American Culture. I was the 50th person on my mother’s side of the family to graduate from Michigan. While I was in Arizona I got my Masters in Education from Arizona State University. I became a teacher because I had a lot of really fantastic teachers that changed my life. They pushed me to be a better person, and taught me how to use education to overcome adversity. I love the challenge of teaching; delivering content in as many ways possible to get every student to have that extremely rewarding “I get it” moment. I love getting to know the students and seeing the immense potential our youth in America have, and I love learning from my students every day. Teaching is hard, and I think my greatest challenge is finding the perfect balance of rigorous lessons and 100% student mastery: how do you keep the rigor but get all students to understand and be able to apply the knowledge?
In my second year teaching I was handed a printout of all of the Common Core standards and was told to change my curriculum to align. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. It wasn’t really until the last year that I started to recognize the potential of content depth and rigor afforded by incorporating the Common Core standards. They push educators to challenge their students to use all of their academic skills and prowess in all disciplines. I realized the Common Core is how we can take students to that next level of understanding and synthesis and analyze where they are falling short, how we can get students from memorizing content to applying and integrating their knowledge into their lives and across all disciplines.
I think my strengths are incorporating writing into the science classroom across all units and requiring different writing styles and genres. I think my biggest area for growth is student research and analysis of ‘science’ writing. I want my curriculum to focus more on developing and strengthening students’ writing skills through planning, editing, and revising. The ultimate goal is to give my 7th grade students the ability to feel confident writing in the science content area, and reading and comprehending science texts independently and proficiently.