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Candidate for Member-at-Large: Claire Hodgin

2018-2019 stat executive committee slate

Claire Hodgin

Curriculum Director

Manor ISD

 

 
 
 
Position Statement:

As a long-time member of the Science Teachers Association of Texas and a dedicated science educator, I have a strong commitment to inquiry-based instruction and science literacy for a diverse population of learners. One of my biggest concerns about the future of our nation is the increasing income gap between our richest and poorest communities. As the employee of a school district that serves primarily at-risk students, I see how science literacy can make an enormous difference in the lives and futures of my students and their families. An education that provides a rich experience with inquiry, authentic problem-solving and a connection to literacy will serve all students, no matter what their post-secondary school goals may be. As a district science leader and lifelong educator, I would appreciate the opportunity to bring my skills and experience to STAT as a member-at-large on the Executive Committee.

 

One of my priorities as a science education leader is to help facilitate a community of professional learning. It is essential to connect teachers to a network of other professionals to alleviate the isolation of the classroom, especially in small schools or districts. An area for STAT to explore is the use of innovative professional development, such as the use of instructional videos and webinars to reach across barriers such as time, distance and the cost of travel to in-person training. Another goal should be the creation of leadership institutes to promote equity, deep knowledge of science curriculum and instruction, and advocacy for issues central to expanding and promoting science literacy. Both teachers and their administrators could benefit from opportunity to collaborate and learn more about the issues our teachers face. This would include increasing the support of administrators by providing opportunities for principals and district leaders to participate in collaborative leadership communities that highlight the specific needs of science educators and address the issues they face, such as training and retention of science teachers. Finally, I believe it is essential to promote student engagement through 21st-century learning strategies such as project-based learning and community partnerships that provide students with the opportunity to explore current issues and design solutions for real-life problems. As a member-at-large, I would work to promote the goals of science teachers and students as part of an organization that not only connects and coaches teachers but also advocates for the programs and funding necessary to provide an innovative science education for all students.

 

I would appreciate the chance to serve STAT as a member of the Executive Committee in order to promote innovative professional development opportunities and administrator support of science education issues. Serving in a leadership capacity for our professional organization would allow me to advance innovative professional development and advocate for Texas science teachers, especially by improving and increasing the support of their administrators. I believe my experience and skills allow me to make a significant contribution to STAT and the science teachers and students that our organization serves.


Biographical Sketch:

Dr. Claire Hodgin is currently the Elementary Science Curriculum Coordinator for Manor ISD. Her duties include curriculum, assessments and professional development. She provides support for elementary science teachers through classroom observations and feedback, modeling best practices for instruction and pedagogy as she collaborates with teachers as part of a professional learning community. During the summer, she coordinates Manor ISD's Summer STEM Camp in order to provide an enriching and fun experience for elementary students. Claire also contributes to science education by participating in local, state and national professional organizations to stay current on research and practices in professional development, curriculum and instruction.

 

A native of the Panhandle, Claire graduated from high school in Lubbock and attended Texas A&M University for three years before transferring to The University of Texas to complete her B.A. in 1982. She received a master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas State University in 1998 and completed her doctorate in Science Education at The University of Texas at Austin in 2014, specializing in research on inquiry-based instruction.

 

Claire has been an educator for 36 years, serving as a classroom teacher of grades PK through 12 for eighteen years, a Science Specialist for an NSF-grant funded project, and a Teacher Mentor for UTeach. She is an amateur astronomer and builds telescopes with teachers and students. Claire has presented numerous workshops and short courses for many professional organizations, including the Science Teachers Association of Texas, the Texas Council of Elementary Science, the Texas Earth Science Teachers Association and the National Science Teachers Association.

She has been recognized by the Austin American-Statesman for her volunteer work in astronomy and by the Texas State Senate for her work with the Cub Scouts of America. Her interests include sustainable gardening, live music, travel and crafting.

 

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