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Candidate for Member-at-Large: Charles Zemanek

2018-2019 stat executive committee slate

Charles Zemanek

Department Head/Classroom Teacher

Nacogdoches ISD

 

 
 
 
Position Statement:

Now, more than ever, our state needs quality science teachers. We have been tasked with the impossible. Our students must be equipped with the skills to be successful in careers that have not yet been invented. The reality is that many new science teachers enter the classroom without extensive experience in methods for science classes. They come from generalist backgrounds or did not intend to teach science when they first entered the classroom. I am one of those teachers. My goal was to teach social studies. However, I was placed in a science classroom and found my true passion. STAT was pivotal during my first year of teaching. I believe STAT has the potential to have an even greater role in helping introduce and prepare new science teachers to the profession.

 
My district, Nacogdoches ISD, is located deep in the Piney Woods of East Texas where the towns are far apart, and it is not uncommon for K-12 education to take place in the same building. We struggle to find resources and connect with teachers in other districts across the state. STAT is in a unique position to serve as a conduit for teacher networks and provide additional resources to help support new science teachers. If elected, my focus would be on finding opportunities for STAT to offer instructional support and resources outside of CAST in addition to extending membership opportunities to new science teachers fresh out of college or a teacher preparation program. Together we can facilitate a teacher network to connect educators across the state in a resource consortium. Our veteran teachers would have the opportunity to provide advice and support to our rookies that are new to the profession with the hope of reducing teacher turnover. We all have a part to play in the advancement of science teaching, so let's build the future together!


I ask that you not judge me based on my age but on the merit of my ideas. After all, I have the potential to bring a new perspective to the table as someone that is from the younger generation of educators. The way we are taught in teacher preparation programs has shifted. We must be innovative in our appeal to the profession as a whole and in reaching out to new members. STAT has served as a cornerstone of science education in Texas for the past 60 years. My hope is to play a small part in continuing to support that tradition. Thank you for your consideration – together we can shape the future of science education sending Texas to the top!


Biographical Sketch:

My name is Charles Raymond Zemanek, III but everyone just calls me Z – it is a pleasure to meet you! I am a proud faculty member of McMichael Middle School in Nacogdoches, Texas, a sleepy little town tucked away in the Piney Woods of East Texas, where I teach both eighth- and sixth-grade science. Last year, I was asked to serve as the Science Department Head and have loved providing instructional support for our science team! I received my Bachelor of Arts from Stephen F. Austin State University, and I am in the final stretch of my master's. I am relatively new to teaching with this being my second year in the field. Last year, I was awarded the STAT Rookie Science Teacher of the Year award – an honor that means a great deal to me! Also, I received the Outstanding Rookie Teacher of the Year from my campus. I have been a faithful member of STAT and NSTA during my teaching tenure. During my time in college, I wrote a number of articles and lesson plans for The Texan, a social studies journal that focused on cross-curricular activities between science and social studies. Like most teachers, however, my greatest accomplishment is not an award or a publication, but seeing my students reach new heights academically and socially – after all, they are the future!

The Science Teachers Association of Texas

 

 

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