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K-12 Initiatives - Teaching Partners

The Teaching Partner program has two goals: to support teacher who are implementing MainePSP programs for the first time and to provide undergraduate and graduate students with opportunities to learn about science education.  Teaching Partners serve as (1) a resource assistant who is knowledgeable about the philosophy and materials associated with MainePSP programs and (2) an inquiry assistant who can help guide the inquiry process during small group work and other classroom activities.  In this role, Teaching Partners:

  • Visit the assigned classroom for 2-4 hours per week, depending on the schedule of the Teaching Partner and the host teacher(s).
  • Assist in facilitating classroom activities and small group work
  • Organize, distribute, and collect classroom equipment and supplies
  • Prepare for upcoming visits by reviewing instructional materials

Teaching Partners must be working towards a degree in science or secondary science education and have academic experience in the fields of earth science, chemistry and physics. During their first semester as a teaching partner, graduate and undergraduate students are prepared for these roles via a STEM Education seminar conducted by the MainePSP.  Regular, collegial conversation between Teaching Partners and their host teachers support effective partnerships that benefit the Teaching Partner and host teacher, as well as the students.

Here are some comments from teachers who have hosted Teaching Partners:

“It’s ALWAYS helpful to have an extra pair of hands and eyes in the room, especially with activity-oriented science lessons.  We had some beneficial chats about everything from the future of education in general to the details of prep-work for lessons or data-gathering for the research part of PSP.”

“[My teaching partner] skillfully worked with individuals and small groups to help students understand their observations and make connections between their evidence and scientific knowledge.”

“What helped me and my students the most was the teaching partner’s expertise on the content and knowing how to find the answers if we did not know them.”


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