Teacher Spotlight: Monya Thompson Adds Energy to her Physics Classes
According to Merriam Webster, physics is a science that deals with matter, energy, and their interactions. For Laurel Springs teacher, Monya Thompson, physics is her favorite subject to teach “due to its practical application.” Naturally, Ms. Thompson was kind enough to interact with us and share her energy and enthusiasm on this matter.
For Ms. Thompson, the concept of teaching has been around since an early age. “As a child, I always liked to play school with my friends and I had to be the teacher. As I got older, my dreams changed, but during my senior year of undergrad I began to think about teaching again. My first year of teaching cemented my love for teaching and I just knew that this was my career.”
Twenty years later, Ms. Thompson has taught different science courses—primarily Physics—and enjoys breaking down the facts for students. “As a science teacher, I love having the ability to [simplify] science concepts and make them relatable to students as well as show them that science is not as hard as they thought.”
When the concept of teaching online came up, a coworker suggested she should research Laurel Springs. It’s been almost 10 years now, and she’s not looking back. In fact, sometimes this travel-lover still needs to pinch herself that she has the opportunity to connect with families around the world.
“During my first year, I had a parent on Skype who was in Bermuda. I think it was then that I was blown away about how awesome online teaching was. I still get amazed when I am tutoring and interacting with a student in Japan or some other country. I also value the conversations that I have had with students about how they balance the pursuit of their dreams while achieving in education.”
Putting Skills in Motion
Science is one of those subjects that comes to life with hands-on experience. While some may see this as a challenge to facilitate online, Monya Thompson sees it as an opportunity to learn and grow. “I keep students engaged in online learning by relating content to their interests and using real life examples often. I love using simulations and videos to teach topics and provide engagement opportunities.”
Also, it’s not only about individual students getting involved—it’s even more fun when they can collaborate and make discoveries as a group. “I love any lesson or activity where students get to create and share their creation with peers. One of my favorite topics to teach is motion. There is so much you can do with that topic from applying it to sports, identifying the errors in films and other media, and various investigations.”
If any topic requires further investigation, Ms. Thompson is always there to assist. “By making myself available, via email, phone, and iClass, I am able to provide support for students so that they don’t feel overwhelmed or alone while learning. It is important for me to make my students feel like they are not alone and supported.”
This support shouldn’t stop with the teacher, either. “I would encourage parents to be available and supportive to their children, especially secondary students, as they adjust to online learning. Don’t assume that children know how to navigate an online system because they use electronics often. I think this is one of the things that I have heard from parents over and over as they adjust to this new normal of online learning due to Covid.”
Another thing she hopes to instill in her students—and parents can help as well—is how to properly manage their time. “One valuable lesson that I think students learn and master through online learning is time management and the hazards of procrastination. Those lessons are ones that can be applied throughout life.”
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