Kaleidoscope generates and shares knowledge and stories crucial for strengthening the teaching profession and the improvement of education, particularly in STEM disciplines. We publish articles by KSTF Fellows and their collaborators that explore knowledge of, for, and about teaching—all through the prism of lived experience, both struggles and successes, in educational endeavors. In doing so, we support and make public the work of teachers and other education professionals developing deeper understandings of students, teaching, and ourselves as learners. Kaleidoscope provides a unique platform for writers and readers to investigate new ideas, provoke thoughtful reflection and dialogue, and effect change in teaching and educational practices.
We are humbled by, and grateful to, the writers in our community whose work we feature in the fourth issue, primarily because we know that the work of developing as an education professional can be messy, turbulent, or downright stormy. Uncertainty, in particular, can be disquieting. A common theme woven through the stories you’ll read here is how we develop self-awareness through uncertainty, whether that uncertainty is the task of documenting and sharing educational practices for a broader audience, learning to navigate a thorny classroom management situation, developing leadership identities, or discovering a jarring truth about one’s own beliefs in the system. It is often the challenges we face as educators, and our reflection on those challenges, that push us to grow as individuals for the benefit of our students and/or colleagues.
2014 KSTF Teaching Fellow Eric Rasmussen found himself struggling with classroom management early in his teaching career. Here, he describes how a restorative justice protocol helped his students make community connections within his science classroom. Rasmussen offers both a helpful narrative of the protocol’s implementation and a thought-provoking reflection on his own growth. His and his students’ experiences have much to teach us about the vital importance of classroom relationships in motivation and engagement.