AAPT: American Association of Physics Teachers

AAPT Member Spotlight

Meet Ben

Although my college degree from Oberlin is in physics, my favorite class didn't involve any physics (or math, experiments, or notes). It was called Philosophy in The Schools (PHITS), and every Wednesday afternoon, another student and I would tramp down to the local elementary school and read a picture book to a circle of 2nd graders. We strove to keep the kids engaged by alternating pages and making loud, expressive voices. Following the reading, we would facilitate a philosophical discussion on the ethics or morals in the story. I always left with a huge smile on my face. While I enjoyed my physics classes, I LOVED the planning and conversations surrounding PHITS. I was grateful that this experience, tutoring at Oberlin High School and working at the Easter Seals Wisconsin Respite overnight camp, uncovered my passion for developing interpersonal relationships and working with adolescents. When the time came to graduate college, I felt overwhelmed by the decision to attend graduate school, find a physics job, or explore teaching options in America. Fortunately, I dodged committing to a career by joining the Peace Corps.

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