EducationInformal EducationPop Quiz

“You Don’t Look Like a Teacher”

Last night, I was doing an event called “Teen Science Cafe,” where high school students can come to an event, get some food, hear from a scientist speaker, and do some cool science activities. Somewhere between prepping my talk, re-styling my newly-pink hair after it got rained on, unrolling a giant inflatable planetarium, wearing an alien headband handed to me by an organizer, and generally bouncing around squeeing about astronomy-related things, one of the high school teachers said to me, “Wow, you don’t seem at ALL like a typical scientist at a university.” The tone was very complimentary and so I laughed and said, that indeed, I break all the rules.

One of the main goals of the DIY Science Zone at GeekGirlCon last weekend was, indeed, to let attendees interact with a variety of scientists and see the diversity, excitement, and enthusiasm that many of us have. I dare say we succeeded, if you look at our group pictures. So we know that scientists look like all kinds of people. What about teachers?


Top photo from Teen Science Cafe. Can you distinguish the scientist from the teens? Bottom photo from Emily Finke.

Do you intentionally or unintentionally defy educator stereotypes? What are those stereotypes, and how might they be helpful/harmful to teaching?

The Pop Quiz is a question posed to you, the Scholars of Doubt. Look for it to appear Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons. In American longitudes, anyway.


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Nicole is a professor, astronomer, educator, geek, dog mom, occasional fitness nerd, and maker of tiny comets. She is also very loud under the right circumstances. Like what you read? Buy me a coffee:

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