Making history

Teacher Ambassador Barbara Algarin

Barbara Algarin was a chemistry major who also tutored other students in chemistry while in college and afterwards. “I had always dreamed of becoming a veterinarian, but I felt I was good at helping others in school. Then my mom mentioned that New York City was looking for people to become teachers,” she explains. Feeling at a crossroads and wanting a change, Barbara applied for a New York City Teaching Fellowship, a program that prepares applicants to teach high-needs subjects such as science in New York City classrooms. The first time she applied, they lost her application. She persisted, and applied again the following year and was accepted.

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Creative teaching from plate tectonics to plant pollinators

Teacher Ambassador Christine Fernandes

Christine Fernandes began as a horticulture major at Pennsylvania State University, but transferred to agricultural education so she could become a teacher. She absolutely loves her career choice. She learned about the Concord Consortium through a listserv from her alma mater. We’re collaborating with Penn State on our GEODE project to develop new geodynamic plate tectonic modeling software for middle school students. The software is designed to allow students to observe and describe the formation of surface geologic features in terms of plate interactions. Christine explains, “It really clicked for the students, seeing what was happening below the ground in relation to the size and magnitude of the earthquakes along the western coast of South America.”

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From “sage on the stage” to “guide on the side”

Andrew Njaa and InquirySpace teacher

“Getting out of the classroom and into the world.” That’s the most exciting thing about education today, explains Andrew Njaa. A philosophy major at a liberal arts college isn’t the most obvious path to teaching physics. But after graduating from St. John’s College in Santa Fe in 1984, a new fellowship collaboration between St. John’s, the University of New Mexico, and Santa Fe Public Schools changed the course of his career plans. Andrew completed an internship learning how to teach and teaching math at Santa Fe Technical High School. He was convinced that he wanted to be in the classroom.

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