The Official National Institute of STEM Education Blog

NISE STEM Teacher Certification was an eye-opener for program’s 400th graduate

Posted by Whitney Dove on Jun 20, 2018 8:48:01 AM


Gena Schleimer says earning the National Certificate for STEM Teaching has given her more confidence in preparing her students for their futures.


By Jamie LaGesse

Independent work took on a whole new meaning in Gena Schleimer’s science classroom during the past year.

Gena, a seventh- and eighth-grade science teacher at St. Agnes Catholic School in Roeland Park, Kansas, is the 400th graduate of the National Institute for STEM Education Teacher Certification program. She describes the self-paced STEM certification program as “eye-opening.”

Gena credits the self-reflection component of NISE’s teacher certification with her classroom transformation. “I saw the biggest change in my practice when I really turned over the reigns to students. I had thought I was doing that a lot before, but it wasn’t even close to what I could have been doing,” she laughed.

“When I had [students] process through and allowed them time to think critically instead of me interrupting them all the time to ‘help,’ the growth I saw was amazing.”

Gena added her students’ assessment scores have “gone through the roof” on the Kansas state test, as well as their scores for NWEA MAP, a national assessment that gauges students’ proficiency and growth in science, math, reading and English Language Arts.

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Tags: graduates of STEM and NISE, STEM graduates and National Institute for STEM Edu, teacher certification, Uncategorized

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