Caitlin Dowling is not only a biology and physics instructor at Passaic County Technical Institute, she also serves as Head Cheerleading Coach!
She recently completed NJCTL’s endorsement program in physics, in less than twelve months, with a 4.0 and passed the Praxis. While not everyone can match her speed and performance level, we all can learn from her approach.
1. Start right away.
“I decided to go through the program with one of my co-workers last April and once we were approved we decided to start right away. I worked really hard to make sure that I finished the first two courses (Methods and Algebra-Based Physics) before summer.”
2. Plan a break or two along the way to rejuvenate (or at least find a vacation-like study spot).
“I love being out by the pool reading and then I have summer cheer, so that was my vacation time in a sense."
3. Make good use of your downtime at school.
“The biggest impact I think was time management, I really just used any extra time, all my preps, my duty period, and my lunch to work. I always made sure I was up to date with my grading and things with cheer so that I could then focus on my physics work.“
4. Find a Fellow Endorsement Candidate and Local Support.
“Having a co-worker going through the program with me was really helpful as well. We were able to bounce any obstacles off of each other and lean on each other whenever needed. We also have some great department members that teach physics at the school so I was always able to go to them when needed.“
5. Take Advantage of Professional Days Where Possible
“Also, my school allowed my co-worker and me to take professional days three times a year, when we were able to stay in a room and work for whole days on the program. If a school allows anyone to do that, I highly suggest they take advantage of it. This is super helpful since you end up really on a roll with the material and don’t have to keep stopping every period and such.”
To request more information about NJCTL's teacher education programs, click here.
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