I want to thank the association for the Outstanding Longtime Service to ASTE award. ASTE is one of the organizations that I consider to be an intellectual home. It has been an organization where I could contemplate new ideas, learn new skills, and share what I am learning in my work with teachers. Thank you ASTE for letting me contemplate, learn, and share over the years. Without you, I would not be here.
Before I thank a few (among many) people who have supported me over the years and recently, I want to say three things about this association.
To begin with, I truly believe that the most valuable asset of ASTE are the members. The members of ASTE are remarkable individuals who are passionate about the learning of teachers and their own learning. Within ASTE, there are individuals with new ideas about how to expand the reach of the association. There are individuals who are driven by experimentation and evidence to enhance the learning of the members and teachers. There are also individuals who tirelessly support one another. ASTE is a remarkable community of science teacher educators because of its members.
And it is because of the members that I have always found it is easy to serve ASTE in different ways. Each one of us can bring something to ASTE. Some members may work on committees, serve on the board, or become president. Other members may serve by ensuring scholarly work is disseminated through ASTE publications, conferences, or webinars. Serving the organization can also be done by asking hard questions when we hear or review new work. One easy way to serve the association is by simply saying “good job” to a nervous presenter or “welcome” to a new attendee. Don’t underestimate the different ways each ASTE member can and does serve the association.
My third comment is not so much about ASTE as it is about what is before us as an association. We are at a point in time where we need to advocate for science teacher education. We need to advocate for the science teachers we work with, and we need to advocate for science teacher education. We are in a unique position to do this because ASTE has a focus on the professional learning of science teachers. The stakes are high if we don’t remind those around us of the critical role of science in our daily and future lives, and that today’s science teachers are inspiring scientists of tomorrow. It is our job to constantly remind our acquaintances, neighbors, friends, and influential leaders of the importance of science education. Advocating will be hard and tiring at times –but we have no choice. We are the group to do this because we know about science teachers and science teacher learning. And, if we don’t do this, who will?
I promise you that I will continue to be an advocate for science teachers and science teacher education. I hope you join me in being an advocate.
These are the three things I wanted to say before I thank a few specific ASTE members. While there are many members of ASTE who have been career-long friends or supportive colleagues, I would like to give a special ‘thank you’ to Sandra Abell, who saw more in me than I did in myself; Barbara Spector who listened to me as I experienced academia; Julie Gess-Newsome who knew more about policies and procedures than anyone I ever met; and Bill Baird who reminded me that we build upon the work of each other. Finally, I what to give a heartfelt thank you to Brooke Whitworth for leading this nomination (which took a good amount of time), along with the ASTE members who wrote supporting letters – Randy Bell, Pat Friedrichsen, Tisha Morrell, Debi Hanuscin, and Jon Pedersen. You have been tremendous colleagues over the years. And again, thank you ASTE for this award.