As a full-time high school physics teacher in the Wachusett Regional School District, David appreciates being able to apply what he’s learning in this program immediately in his classroom.
Connecting his WPI coursework with his own classroom is invigorating as a student and as a teacher. “Through the use of projects, I am allowed to make materials that I can immediately use in my classroom,” he says. “With the feedback I get throughout the semester, I am sure that what I present to my students is accurate and effective.”
David says the faculty’s availability is valuable for knowledge and for making connections. “More so than other universities, they care about each individual student,” he says. “They truly want students to get the most out of their education.”
The program serves a dual purpose aiming to deepen a working educator’s physics knowledge while also helping them translate the material so their high school students understand it. “Dr. Kafle was sure to make a personal connection with me and each student in class,” David says. “He also had a great way of making complex physical concepts reachable for a high school student in an introductory course.” Other faculty members offered valuable guidance about how to gain the most from each course and advice on how to connect the course material and the material David’s students would receive.
As a working grad student, time to work and study are essential, and this program helped Dave’s time constraints. As he redesigns almost an entire year’s worth of curriculum through his coursework at WPI, his own students benefit immediately. They gain a teacher with a deeper knowledge base who is better able to explain the concepts and make the material engaging.
David was even able to keep his extracurricular coaching duties (volleyball and the Rubik’s Cube Club) in his district. With his new degree, he plans to continue teaching high school introductory physics, but may branch out to college courses down the road.
Rudra Kafle, Assistant Teaching Professor, Physics
Doug Petkie, Department Head and Professor, Physics
Frank Dick, Associate Teaching Professor, Physics