Elon alumnus reflects on first year of teaching

Daniel Martin '16 spent his first year after graduation teaching science at a rural, low-income school in Greene County, N.C.

A year ago, Daniel Martin ’16 walked across the stage at Elon Commencement to receive his degree in middle grades education with a concentration in science. Now with professional experience under his belt, he’s reflecting on his first year of teaching, the opportunities he embraced as a first-year teacher, the young lives he helped to impact, and how it was all made possible because of his educational foundation at Elon.

Martin’s first year as a 7th grade science teacher at a rural, low-income school in Greene County, N.C., was successful. Teaching at a STEM school allowed him many professional opportunities including his acceptance into the N.C. Digital Leadership Coaching Network. When he wasn’t in the classroom, Martin spent much of his time with instructional technologists who helped him understand how he could meet the needs of his peers using technology. As a result, Martin was given the opportunity to speak on digital literacy at a district-wide professional development session, which he described as “awesome.”

Martin’s fondest opportunity during his first year of teaching was being accepted into a national leadership academy in Houston, Texas, where he will work with the American Geosciences Institute on developing curriculum for geosciences. And, he has already been asked to speak at regional event during the next academic year.

This summer, Martin has been working with Rhea Miles, associate professor of mathematics, science and instructional technology education at East Carolina University, and Scott Rawls, associate professor of pharmacology at Temple University, in the Science Education Against Drug Addiction Partnership program funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Collaboratively, they are developing a curriculum that exposes middle- and high school students to the negative impact of drugs. At the same time, the curriculum will educate students on career opportunities available in the field of biomedical sciences. Martin looks forward to teaching his 8th grade students the skills associated with this kind of work because “it’s an engaging way to show the fluidity of various content in a science profession.”