William Street Science Educator Recognized at NY Master Teacher
Marykay Flett Named Master Teacher
At Lancaster Schools, lifelong learning isn’t just a characteristic we hope to imbue in our students; it is also a principle put into practice and modeled by our faculty. Mrs. Marykay Flett was honored last month as one of just 230 teachers inducted into the New York State Master Teacher Program for K-12 STEAM Learning.
The approval process to be accepted into the Master Teacher Program is very selective, making this recognition a true testament to Mrs. Flett’s hard work and dedication.
A 27-year veteran teacher, Mrs. Flett is a fourth-grade science teacher who serves as an active member of the William Street science committee. She is also a board member for Science Teacher Association of New York State (STANYS) Western Section. As a Co-Elementary Subject Area Representative, she presents at the state conference every fall.
Facing the challenge of implementing the Next Generation Science Standards, Mrs. Flett saw an opportunity to not just teach a new set of standards, but to deepen learning experiences with her students. Through professional learning and self-guided study, she has developed an inquiry-based approach with her teaching that helps students to uncover the “big ideas” of a lesson.
“The knowledge I have gained from professional learning opportunities continues to impact not only my understanding of the content within the standards, but it also has helped me become a stronger, more effective teacher,” Mrs. Flett said. “Now I have a large cache of questioning techniques and strategies for helping all of my students succeed.”
Incorporating technology into her lessons has increased student engagement and inclusion of all types of learners. For instance, using Google Earth to study the gorge at Letchworth State Park allows students to experience this phenomenon, even if they have not visited. Then they can take in an enriched lesson on concepts like patterns in sedimentary rock.
The NYS Master Teacher Program fosters collaboration among New York’s outstanding STEM educators and offers high-quality professional learning, allowing Mrs. Flett to continue to hone her skills and bring that knowledge to others in the Lancaster School District. Mrs. Flett and other Master Teachers in the Western Region were honored at a reception at SUNY Buffalo State in March.