Having the opportunity to get new ideas from my peers and discuss projects, activities and strategies helps me to grow and keeps me from becoming stagnant in my teaching. Programs like this are like gold to me because the financial situation in the district in which I teach is such that there is no money available to send our faculty to national conferences.
My life has changed in some way because of my participation in this program. My wife, my children, and my co-workers have all remarked at how I am different now. I don’t know whether it was the program, the people that I worked with, or some combination of the two, but whatever it was something about it changed me. I know that “life-changing experience” was not one of the outcomes that you hoped for when you planned the program, but it is what happened with me. Thank you very much for allowing me to participate— this has been one of the best years of my life.
The experience I had at the 2012 AAS meeting as well as the entire NITARP experience will change the way I teach astronomy. Having spent 5 days meeting and discussing authentic scietific research with so many people from many different facilities was extremely rejuvinating as an educator.