“It appears, therefore, that of all secular professions, teaching is the most profoundly important,” stated Robert Menzies, former Australian prime minister. Teaching is important—true. But teaching encompasses so much more than the act of instruction. Teaching is multifaceted: it constantly challenges, inspires, shapes, and changes us in many ways.

Teaching is challenging. We often are faced with internal and external disruptions; assemblies, student discipline issues, family crises, and extra-curricular activities interrupt classroom time. Externally determined expectations and curricular requirements change constantly, bringing fresh ideas into our classrooms but sometimes at the cost of constraining or even removing some favored instructional method or goal. While many states have adopted the Next Generation Science Standards to guide pre-college science instruction, expectations still vary, and even though education has become somewhat more standardized, we still have a national patchwork of educational goals and practices. One colleague mused, “Being a good teacher is like...

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