Academic journal article The Science Teacher

An Interview with Science Teacher Mike Zito

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

An Interview with Science Teacher Mike Zito

Article excerpt

Byline: Megan Sullivan

Bonus Points

Education: Education: B.S., Biology, Minor in Chemistry; M.S., Environmental Science

On the web:

National Science Teachers Association (

Related careers: Museum educator, science outreach coordinator, scientific illustrator, science writer, broadcast science journalist, college biology professor, science curriculum coordinator

If you are interested in science and have a gift for explaining it to others, you might want to consider a future in science teaching. You don't have to go far to learn more about this career niche; a wealth of information may literally be staring you in the face. Who are your science teachers? What are their backgrounds? Ask questions and you'll learn that there's more than meets the eye. From challenging eager learners to encouraging those who think they can't do science, high school science teacher Mike Zito says there's nothing like seeing the lights go on in students' minds. To him, the best part of teaching is crafting and executing a rich lesson plan that brings students to a true understanding of science.

Describe a typical day.

Teaching is a wonderful combination of science and interpersonal interactions. The best part of the job is inspiring young minds by sharing my joy and wonder for science. The time in front of the classroom is the easiest and most fun part of the day, but a good lesson requires meticulous preparation. A typical day begins with arriving early and making sure the classroom is prepared for the day's activities. Science teaching differs from many other disciplines due to the extra effort involved in preparing a laboratory intensive experience for students. The afternoon is spent in any number of ways: Evaluating student work, cleaning the lab of the day's activity, attending faculty meetings, meeting with parents and students, or sponsoring clubs. Back at home, some of the evening is spent grading or planning what I hope will be interesting lessons for the next unit.

What background is needed?

A bachelor's degree in a scientific field is absolutely necessary and a master's degree in science is a great plus. In addition, teachers must take courses in education and child development as required by their particular state to receive a teaching license. …

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