Superpower: Generate weird and random teaching examples.
Understanding the how and why concepts work together, rather than just presenting facts and numbers, can create long-lasting learning for students. This is how Ames High Earth and Space Science teacher Andrea Lowe approaches the classroom. “I’m spending more time teaching the hows – how to use technology wisely and beneficially, how to complete certain actions or functions, how to find information when you don’t have immediate access to the teacher.”
Lowe is in her third year of teaching in the District and works to stay positive by surrounding herself with optimistic, forward-thinking people. “Success and perseverance are learned, not automatic, and I can do as much as I put myself in a position to succeed in.” Lowe is a huge advocate of the equity work that is taking place in the classroom and engages in professional development opportunities when they arise.
For Lowe, focusing on the individual student is key, including their social and emotional health, which is why an emphasis is placed on the why and how concepts work together. She believes that “hard work and perseverance are better than innate ability,” and noted that everyone deserves a second chance and “sometimes a 15th doesn’t hurt either.” Students always have an opportunity to succeed in her classroom.
When teaching, her superpower of providing weird and random examples engages students in science. It sparks curiosity and questions in their mind. Perhaps this is what prompted students to investigate a fallen tree in the prairie adjacent to the high school. Students quickly found that part of the root system was still connected and therefore was still alive with green leaves.