Lindsey Blansit has been teaching for less than five years. Yet in that time, she’s attended one national and one regional science educators’ conference, as well as several local professional development seminars.
“I feel as teachers, we have to keep learning,” said Blansit, who teaches science at Horizon Community Middle School. “Things change every year. We have to stay updated.”
Blansit’s love of learning and her commitment to her students are part of the reason she is one of 25 teachers from the U.S. and Canada to receive the Maitland P. Simmons Memorial Award for New Teachers from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). The award is presented to outstanding K-12 teachers in their first five years of teaching and provides them with funds to attend the annual National Conference on Science Education. This year’s conference will be held next month in Chicago.
“It’s such a great opportunity,” Blansit said.
As an award winner, she will get to attend a daylong workshop with the top leaders in science education as part of the four-day conference. She’ll also attend feature presentations and hands-on sessions that cover a wealth of valuable topics for new and veteran teachers. These cover everything from improving science literacy and utilizing technology to differentiating instruction for all learners, including English language learners.
“I’ll learn things that will help me improve in my classroom and that helps my students,” Blansit said. “Attending conferences like this really rejuvenates me. It excites me and that excites the kids.”
But the benefits of being an award recipient don’t end with the conference. Blansit and other award recipients will also be mentored and provided with continuing opportunities for meaningful involvement with NSTA.