Star Educator Spotlight: Tiffany Floyd
My mother reminded me of my willingness and need to help others, and suggested I become an art educator because I enjoyed creating and was pretty good at conveying information in ways others could better understand. I've loved teaching children and sharing information with student teachers and colleagues ever since!
2. What is a challenge in your classroom?
My biggest challenge in education is not having the time I need to truly feel as if I'm making a difference. There are so many areas and standards teachers must cover. Oftentimes, this leaves us touching on a variety of topics and concepts, as opposed to spending a little more time on concepts not yet mastered by our students. Also, funding for technology and construction consumables continues to be a challenge. We're able to secure recycled household materials, but electronic components and hardware must be disassembled and shared, or used in the making of one group construction.
3. How has STEM transformed your teaching style?
STEM education has proven to be very effective in my classroom. It gives students opportunities to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways, providing experiential learning and critical thinking challenges.
4. Any advice for new STEM educators?
Find any and every opportunity you can to help students make connections between what they are learning/creating in your classroom and the real world. Also, incorporate the engineering design model. I feel it aligns wonderfully with a Growth Mindset, in that students: 1. begin to say, "not yet" when they haven't grasped a concept. It means there's hope for future success instead of giving up. 2. learn that instant success is not common. Most designers return to the drawing board several times before their invention/design is "just right". Trying again will become second nature.
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