Meet Trey Smith, Science Teacher & Science Department Chair
How are you involved in education?
- I have been teaching for 5 years in Philadelphia. The first three years of my professional career I spent at Morrison Elementary teaching science and social studies (along with music, technology, literacy, and math) to seventh and eighth graders. This is my second year at Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia Charter School as a science teacher and science department chair.
My students have opportunities to engage with STEM professionals in a monthly science speaker series, travel on monthly field trips to research labs, pursue independent research that can be showcased at science fairs, participate in weekend and summer programs with various educational institutions and partners, and engage in learning that is authentic and hands-on. Students also have opportunities to join our US FIRST Tech Challenge team and a chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers.
I am a teacher consultant with the Philadelphia Writing Project, an elementary science methods instructor at the University of Pennsylvania, a past new teacher fellow with the National Science Teachers Association, and a former visiting scholar with the HistoryMakers in Chicago through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
What’s your ideal classroom or school like?
- I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the images in media and messages in society outside of a traditional classroom and school. As conversations about education reform rage, the educational influences of messages crafted by corporations are too often ignored and instead schools or families are blamed for a (perceived?) failure of a public education system. I say this not to deny that what goes on inside my classroom is important but out of a desire to widen the scope of the conversations in political discourse about education and education reform. The community–and I mean community on a number of levels from city block to planet Earth itself–is the school. I’m still forming my thoughts and following this thread.
Have you ever attended an unconference before?
- EdCampPhilly 2011
If you were to lead a session at EdCamp, what would it be about?
- Right now I’m trying to wrap my brain around how science in the classroom—and in the community classroom—provides opportunities for students to write learn, collaborate with peers, and develop a sense of agency. I’ve been talking to peers a lot about science as a discipline that allows students to explore issues that directly affect their communities—and to investigate solutions to global and local challenges. But at this point I have more questions than answers. Is there a place of social justice in the science classroom? Yes. What does it look like? There are a lot of example out there. I’m still working on a vision for my own classroom.
Do you have a website or blog?
Are you on Twitter?
What is your favorite digital tool?
- Google Sites