The Educator Spotlight recognizes those who contribute to the education of local students. Educators were chosen by consulting with site PTA, student government organizations and staff. Educators were chosen for their reputations with students, staff, parents and the community.
Kristin Jurewicz – John Adams Middle School
Kristin Jurewicz started out as a substitute teacher in Ann Arbor, Michigan before moving to Santa Monica. She’s now been with SMMUSD for 14 years and has always been an 8th grade science teacher at John Adams.
Jurewicz values the science education at JAMS for multiple reasons. She values the block schedule because it allows students the time to engage in labs and hands on science activities, while giving the students time to analyze their results. She also finds the science magnet program to be an asset.
One of her favorite 8th grade science projects is when the students make Mousetrap cars. Building the car requires students to apply the physics concepts they’ve learned in class.
This is my second year as the science magnet coordinator. I enjoy working with the board to keep our science program current with the ever changing world. Through the science magnet program students have many different options of extracurricular activities that are science related. While in this program students have a chance to visit Catalina Island, Yosemite and Astrocamp, along with family camping trips to Morro Bay and Joshua Tree. And I love working with my colleagues in the science dept.
I am excited about implementing NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) over the next few years. The standards have more opportunity to go in depth with topics to hopefully build a life-long understanding of science. My goals as a teacher are to engage students in a way that they want to continue in a science field once they leave middle school.
I like working with middle school students because they are starting to gain their own voice. We can have lively discussions about space exploration and nuclear power.
I feel appreciated from the students when they show interest in what we are doing in class. I like it when they take control of their education.