The 18-month PSI program prepared me exceptionally well to teach physics.
Erin Wiese | High School Physics Teacher | McNair Academy
Erin Wiese is a high school physics teacher at McNair Academy in Jersey City, NJ. She is one of the first graduates of the CTL physics teacher residency endorsement program in June 2015.
What can you share about your experiences with PMI (or PSI)?
PSI is an invaluable tool! My colleagues spend hours and hours each week on lesson plans and test/quiz/lab creation while the PSI programs completes all that for me. I never have to worry that a student will gain access to the test bank as their security is bar none. As far as content, it is nice to have the lessons already prepared with formative questions built in to the presentation. I feel that the program touches on all aspects needed to build a strong foundation.
Tell us about your experience with the PSI physics teacher endorsement program.
Having stayed home to raise my children for 12 years, I was nervous about re-entering the workplace and especially about teaching physics. However, the 18-month PSI program prepared me exceptionally well to teach. I attended classes one night during the week and every 3rd Saturday in Teterboro, NJ. When I had emergency spine surgery and couldn’t drive, NJCTL even arranged for me to Skype in to the classroom. I really felt my success was equally important to them as it was me. Even to this day I have continuous support from those at NJCTL-they are simply a phone call away.
What are your results?
Students have shown incredible progress this year. Out of 128 students, only 4 did not pass for the algebra-based physics course. Enrollment in AP1 Physics has quadrupled since I introduced them to PSI. The kids really love it and think they can handle AP1, the most grueling of all classes, with PSI algebra-based physics behind them.
What is the impact of CTL teaching methods on the teaching and learning environment in your classroom?
My students interact well in their round table setting and have fun competing against each other on the formative questions.
How are teachers using the many resources provided by PSI?
Teachers using PSI have everything they need at their fingertips to teach physics, including PSI provides labs, lesson plans, tests and quizzes.
Describe a typical day in your classroom.
I follow the slides and use the built-in formative questions. The more I teach it, the more I incorporate in my own commentary. Having the presentation keeps me on track and ensures I cover all topics. At least twice per marking period, I will choose a lab to do with them as well.
What advice do you have for teachers adopting PSI-PMI now?
Change is good! Make your life easier and give the kids access to this incredible opportunity to learn.