Emilie Dion Wolf
Emilie Wolf is a lifelong learner, nature lover, and educator with over 15 years of experience teaching in formal and informal education settings. She believes in the importance of transmitting the love of learning, critical thinking, and developing genuine connections with our environment. Emilie understands that we all learn in slightly different ways and strive to incorporate as many different learning styles as possible into her curricula I designs. Emilie has had the pleasure of working as a science educator and curriculum developer for two internationally recognized scientific institutions: the Montreal Botanical Gardens and the American Museum of Natural History. This experience allowed her to learn from experts in the field and to teach a wide range of learners and topics. She has also taught in a New York private school for the past 10 years, developing the curricula for grades 2,4,6,9, and a scientific research elective for juniors and seniors. Five years ago, she transitioned into the role of science department chair which gave her the opportunity to support her peers’ work with their curricula and to ensure the continuity of the program from k-12. More recently Emilie started teaching environmental science at NYU, which has been a wonderful learning experience to develop a curriculum for post-secondary education. Although the pandemic brought its fair chair of challenges and hardship, it also gave Emilie the opportunity to experience online teaching. As with all teaching modalities, it is not suited for all students; however, it offers opportunities and flexibility that the regular class does not. Emilie has taught both synchronous and asynchronous courses in science. Emilie particularly appreciates the increased level of individual interaction and differentiation possible in a digital classroom.
Teaching Philosophy & Approach:
There are many jobs that are essential on a day to day basis but very few can claim to be precursors to changing the world; education can have a profound impact on the values, interests, and decisions of the next generation. Teachers are more than just conduits of information, they also transmit curiosity, innovativeness, and wonderment. Most students that sit in a science lab during their pre-college years will not become scientists, therefore, as science teachers, we have the utmost responsibility to give every student the skills and content they need to be scientifically literate global citizens. Our lessons should challenge their preconceptions, broaden their perspectives, make connections between the theory and their personal experiences, and instill a lifelong love of learning. This is no small task. Science education lends itself well to experiential learning; well-rounded science curricula should include lessons that deepen knowledge, put the content into context with activities, experiments, and/or projects, and include time for reflection and synthesis. It also lends itself well to interdisciplinary and intergenerational collaboration which enhance a student's experience while also being more reflective of how knowledge is used outside of a school setting. By moving the focus away from memorization and towards transferable skills, students can better see the connections between the sciences and get a better grasp of the process of science. The science curricula should include sustainability education and address social, economic, and environmental issues in the science classroom. An important part of educating for a sustainable future is for students to get to know their local environment through field trips and projects. Thomas Huxley wrote in 1854: “To a person uninstructed in natural history, his country or seaside stroll is a walk through a gallery filled with wonderful works of art, nine-tenths of which have their faces turned to the wall.” It is essential to create opportunities for students to develop a genuine connection to nature. If you don’t understand the value of your own environment there is no reason for you to care about the degradation of faraway places. Good teachers routinely reflect on their teaching practices and their curriculum. Reflection is an ongoing, dynamic process that continually seeks, and leads to improved student learning. Teachers should also engage in professional development; science has its own language and is continuously evolving, it is essential for science teachers to stay abreast of new developments in science and adjust their lessons accordingly. These practices model what it is to be a life-long learner.
- Middle (6 - 8)
- High School (9 - 12)
- Learning Coach
- Full-Semester Classes
- Full-Year Classes
- Partial Year Classes (Mini Courses)