Alumna: Middle School Education ’16
While some parents and educators may call middle school the “messy middle,” Amanda Weller would not want to teach any other age group. “Middle schoolers are such fun kids with so much personality and curiosity,” says Weller. “When they get interested in a topic, they just want to keep learning.”
Weller, who teaches social studies and science at Sparrows Point Middle School, credits TU Assistant Professor Asli Sezen-Barrie with motivating her in a science teacher education course. “She got me involved in an all-day event on climate literacy and creationism,” says Weller. “It was a very politically charged topic that I knew very little about at the time.”
Weller joined nearly a dozen Towson University students to learn more about teaching climate in the classroom and creating a 5E lesson plan on the carbon footprint through the Maryland and Delaware Climate Literacy Education Assessment and Research program. “The 5Es — explain, elaborate, explore, evaluate, extend — represent the next generation science standard and serve as a guide for teaching,” she adds.
At Towson University she learned ways to engage middle schoolers, such as Humpty Dumpty 2.0 in which students devise ways to keep Humpty from falling off the wall.
“I’ve learned a lot of practical activities that give students hands-on experiences. It’s great to teach them how to learn from their failures as well as their successes.”
Weller enjoys all the activities as well. “I can’t think of teaching as work because it is so much fun for me,” she says. Still she admits that teaching middle school requires every ounce of her energy.