Editor’s Note: The following post is the fourth part of a series on “The Great Diseases Project: A Partnership Between Tufts Medical School and the Boston Public Schools,” in which AM Rounds asked a few of the projects’ participants to share their thoughts and impressions on the collaboration.
Aimee Gauthier, MEd (principal piloting teacher, Boston Latin School, Boston, Massachusetts and Massachusetts Biology Teacher of the Year 2012):
As the teacher in charge of piloting the first iteration of each of the modules, I stand between everyone’s great ideas and how well they go over in the classroom! I think it’s a tribute to how thoroughly the partnership was planned and is organized that things have gone so smoothly. All the nuts and bolts of the curriculum – teacher guides, materials and narrative are in place before I start, and they’re easy to use. Most importantly my Tufts mentors are always available for consultation via face-to-face meetings, phone email, and most conveniently Gchat. This means that I can check in any time and make sure everything is in order before each lesson. Of course, there are always challenges – most often timing – lessons that look so good on paper often take much longer in the classroom, and sometimes we need to tweak the flow and objectives, and make sure one is well connected to the next. But over the years of working with colleagues from all over the city we’ve achieved a very efficient working model. I took part in the project because I wanted to participate in building a cohesive Biology II curriculum inspired by current research. I’m most happy when I see my students so engaged in learning and full of ideas. I’m gratified by their consistent learning gains too.