The Grand Finale

“I ended up with the greatest classroom in the world. And this, my friends, will be our last class for this stage.” —Oprah Winfrey

Just over a week ago, I spent my final day at Central Middle. It was their science fair project grand finale, and I helped ‘judge’ them, mostly by offering encouragement and applauding their accomplishments. I was truly impressed with a subset, others gave a so-so performance, and of course, a few from each class appeared to have accomplished nothing at all. Part of me is disappointed–why did some of the students still fail? Is there something more than I could have done? Part of me is thrilled–and wants to take credit for the growth of some of the best students, but I recognize they may not have needed my assistance at all. 

One of the topics we spoke about this year as fellows was how to assess student learning and instructor performance. How do we gauge if our teaching is truly effective? I hope I made a difference in my classroom, perhaps time will tell. I know my students made a huge impact on me!

I truly enjoyed being a fellow this year and want to thank all people who contributed to my growth, both as a student and an instructor. Special thanks to Jodi Reno, my mentor-teacher, and Steve Case, my mentor-boss-committee-member extraordinaire! 

The three photos below are of the three classes (3rd, 7th, and 9th) that I was privileged to assist this year. 

Cheers–and to next year’s fellows, enjoy!

~Sarah

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About Sarah Roels

I'm a former Ph.D. student at the University of Kansas in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department. I study mating system evolution in plants, using the model system Mimulus. I now work at Michigan State University as their GK-12 project manager.
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