About Yen

I’ve taught for over 9 years as a high school Biology/Physical Science/Life Science/Biotechnology instructor, and as a curriculum designer and teacher trainer and director for a small career college in Maryland. I am now starting the next leg of my journey into the PhD program in the hopes that one day, I will be able to support, train and assist my fellow colleagues in their own career and educational paths.

Teaching through the heart

I have been thinking deeply about the term “embodied pedagogy,” or teaching the whole self.  bell hooks writes that in our society, we have learned to fragment the mind from the heart and spirit – respecting it above all else.  However, when we teach through the heart, and view our students not just as minds, but as people, we find the compassion we need to be teachers as agents of change.

It starts with looking within ourselves as whole people, too.  Teachers walk a fine line, and on our journey, we learn to be self-critical – becoming hyper aware of […]

By |May 29th, 2013|wrestling|0 Comments

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The Defeatist

I know of people, and students where they believe that doing nothing is better than the punishment of trying.  Success is perceived as something that “others” are privileged and can experience – but it is not for them.  When they try at something, it is done with the idea that failure will be common, and success is a rare and unusual thing in their lives.  Success is because they got “lucky,” through no effort of their own.  It is a defeatist attitude – where one feels they a person is either born/gifted with ability, with resources, and with hope, […]

By |February 28th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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Sister Teacher – A Rant

(I wrote this on an airplane as a blog to include.  When looking through my files, I forgot to put this on the blog!  Food for thought, if anything else.)

My sister is a second grade elementary school teacher .  She received her bachelors in sociology and master’s at an online institution.  Straight out of college, she has taught for over ten years and has more teaching experience than I have.  I on the other hand, arrived at teaching after several years in science research.  She has always taught elementary school, whereas I’ve taught high school and post secondary.  The […]

By |December 16th, 2012|wrestling|0 Comments

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Embodyment

I am not afraid to speak my mind

Even though my voice is shaky

Tomorrow my thoughts may evolve and change

But this is part of being human

 

I am not afraid to speak my heart

Even though parts are locked and secreted

Emotions felt and written on paper

Fondly remind us of the joy in living.

 

I am not afraid to speak my body

Even though speaking causes pain

Recognition and healing of the hurt

I become self-actualized whole.

 

~Yen

By |December 15th, 2012|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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The Sapling

 
I am a little person
Standing in the shadows of giants.
In the forest of trees, my small sapling body
Outstretched, strains to touch
The scarce light reaching the forest floor.
It is blocked out by the bigger trees around me
Claiming the light for themselves.
Struggling to speak
My little voice is drowned out by the cacophony of the others
…and no one hears the message
That
I don’t want to be a big tree like you.
I want to be
A big tree like me.

 ~Yen

By |December 15th, 2012|wrestling|0 Comments

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What Counts?

What counts as learning in our classroom?  Is it really that students learned the material, and were able to parrot or do what we have told them?  Or, is it that students walked away transformed?  In teaching my STANYS workshops, I had an opportunity to reflect on what mattered the most to me when I taught these workshops.  All three of my workshops focused on a practical activity that could be done in science.  I could have focused on the activity itself – meaning, speaking to the preparation of the lab, what results to expect, what the procedure afforded, […]

By |November 24th, 2012|wrestling|0 Comments

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Redefining the gap

Let’s assume that knowledge is a social production – that we produce knowledge (in our classrooms) by having our students engage in and talk about the subject that they are doing (ie. the doing of science).  Let us also assume a different positioning – an ontological shift that says all people, ALL people are equal.  The book “The Ignorant Schoolmaster” by Jacques Ranciere, is a narrative about a teacher, Jacotot, who discovers something very profound in his students: that they are all intelligent – that they bring to the table their multitude of experiences and are thinking beings capable of thought […]

By |November 11th, 2012|Uncategorized, wrestling|2 Comments

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Where are you from? No really, where are you from?

On my way to Minnesota, I was stuck en route in Atlanta.  In a red hoodie and jeans, I must’ve looked like a kid, as I wheeled my bag outside to find the shuttle to my hotel.  While rummaging through my paperwork to find which hotel Airtran had stuck me in, I was accosted by a man who stood uncomfortably close to me.  Reading my sweatshirt, he immediately said, “Hey, California!  You’ve come a long way!  Are you looking for a place to stay?”
His polo shirt said that he was the shuttle driver from a Motel 8.  I looked […]

By |October 27th, 2012|wrestling|0 Comments

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Healing the teacher

This last week at STARS, I had the pleasure of joining a group while they worked on an investigation.  It was a rare opportunity for me to take a few field notes, work with the girls, and enjoy.  When we were outside, the girls from another group saw me through the window and called me over.  “Yen! Yen!  What are you doing?”

I went over and explained the investigation to them.  Bright-eyed, they listened avidly while I shared the science we were doing outside.  It was then I noticed that both girls had two-liter bottles in front of them.  I […]

By |October 21st, 2012|wrestling|3 Comments

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Looking within

In our first year of doctoral studies, we take classes which push our ways of thinking in new directions in a process that Martusewicz calls “self-detachment,” or a “willingness to question one’s entrenched points of view, to subject one’s identity to an analytic interpretive process, and to distance oneself from those positions if necessary” (p. 20).  As I pursue my second year at Warner, this process of self-detachment has left me flailing to find my identity – questioning everything and resolving nothing.  We learn how to deconstruct the structures of power, the political implications of school and pedagogy, our […]

By |October 7th, 2012|wrestling|2 Comments

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Get Real Science STARS Buddypress

Please check out our sister site, the STARS Buddypress blog, where our wonderful near peers write about all the exciting things happening with STARS!

http://getrealscience.com/STARS/

By |September 30th, 2012|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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bell hooks – Education as the Practice of Freedom

“To educate as the practice of freedom is a way of teaching that anyone can learn.” ~bell hooks, p. 13

I wanted to share an inspiring piece of literature from an amazing writer and educator, bell hooks.  Although this is for my class on Poststructuralism, bell hooks writes from the viewpoint that education is a practice of freedom.  She writes, “I have been most inspired by those teachers who have had the courage to transgress those boundaries that would confine each pupil to a rote, assembly-line approach to learning.  Such teachers approach students with the will and desire to respond […]

By |September 30th, 2012|wrestling|0 Comments

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