K12 Education and Teaching

On June 27th, 2017, CNSPY hosted a panel discussion on “K-12 Education and Teaching” with two talented educators. The nearly 20 CNSPY members attending this event demonstrated the keen interest many of students and post-docs at Yale. The two educators both had a strong history of education and teaching that helped to shape their current career path.

The first speaker, Joseph Murfin, earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Percussion Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Masters of Applied Mathematics from Auburn University. Dr. Murfin worked as a part-time instructor at Lakeland University and Madison College and taught as a graduate teaching assistant in the mathematics departments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Auburn University. He is now an Assistant Professor at Middlesex Community College, where he teaches courses in mathematics and music.

The second speaker, Victoria Schulman earned her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences, specializing in Genetics and Cell Biology, from Weill Cornell Medical College. She worked as a teaching assistant and completed an educational fellowship program through the New York Academy of Sciences, where she earned a K-12 teaching credential. After gaining post-doctoral experience at Yale University, Dr. Schulman left the world of bench research and joined the science faculty of the private K-12 “Kings School” in Stamford CT.

As a group, we discussed the speakers’ careers, how they got into teaching, and how they intend to develop their careers as educators. They also answered questions about their day-to-day routine, job responsibilities, and career trajectories. Many of the attendees were interested in determining how to transition from the research career to a teaching career. The major pieces of advice shared by the panelists were:

  • Get as much teaching experience as you can.
  • Offer to teach lessons at local high schools.
  • Utilize the Yale Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) programs to learn the fundamentals of teaching.

Perhaps the best piece of advice they offered was simply: Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t the best teacher in the beginning – you WILL get better. Teaching is challenging, but worth it.

CNSPY would like to thank Dr. Murfin and Dr. Schulman for their participation in this event. We would also like to that Supriya Kulkarni for organizing the event, and Catherine Deatherage for writing this summary.

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