Satellite expert teachers

Experts in subject areas travel to schools - coach & demonstrate teaching to cultivate critical thinking & professional development

Photo of Ainsley Thurber
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Photo of Erin Quinn
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We have a program in Canada called Virtual Researchers on Call (http://www.vroc.ca/vroc/en/) that connects classrooms with real STEM experts across the country virtually. The shame is not many teachers know about it!

What do you imagine the relationship between STEM experts and classrooms and teachers would enable? How do you think these relationships could be leveraged? Who would be involved, do you think?

Photo of Ainsley Thurber
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The Virtual Researchers on Call program looks really cool! I can imagine different scenarios (especially as a teacher to primarily seniors in high school) that a program like that could be extremely useful. Is this used mostly for teacher-expert interactions, or do the experts directly interact with the K-12 students?

I believe that the experts need to be both experts in their STEM fields, but also experienced teachers. There are many people I know in the scientific community that are extremely intelligent in their subject, but are not able to disseminate information effectively to teenagers or do not have classroom management tools or techniques to be the most effective partners.  We envisioned teachers with >/= 5 years of experience (at least) of teaching a specific subject at AP level. These teachers would have a specific region or district(s) within which they functioned, and would interact with all of the teachers within that region or district(s) that taught the particular subject. The expert teacher could respond to teacher requests and/or decide to focus their attention on select teachers due to performance reviews and/or observations.

Photo of Erin Quinn
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So more of a mentorship kind of scenario between expert and novice teachers, rather than a relationship between experts in the field and teachers in the classrooms?

I think you've hit on something interesting here in that experts in the field don't necessarily have the skills needed to adequately support kids in classrooms. I wonder if there's potential for an idea around that?

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