I was offered a job in March of my senior year, 1977, to teach at Escuela Campo Alegre , an independent American School in Caracas, Venezuela. I flew to Venezuela that August. I taught 8th and 9th grade science and still think it was the most fun I ever had that generated a paycheck. Less than half the students were American citizens, and even most of the "American' kids had never lived in the USA. My students spoke English in class with me, Spanish with their pals, then French or Swedish or Dutch at home.
After only one year, my father passed away and I returned to run Fox Valve - a company which, at the time, designed and built flow controls only for rocket engines and spacecraft. I am still close friends with a fellow teacher from Campo from 1977 - who is now in his 15th year as the superintendent at the largest English language school in the DR ( Carol Morgan School). I have been visiting Latin America for 30 years - it is part of my life.
Since I graduated, I have always said that Teacher Prep 402 was my favorite class at Princeton: walking to Princeton High every day at 7:30 in the morning for the entire months of Jan and Feb, and teaching six classes a day (two math, three history and working in the math help center). Most fellow students still can’t believe I did this. After a week, my collaborating teachers disappeared and it was just me and the kids. I can still remember teaching Lincoln's 2nd inaugural address to the US History AP class for a week, parsing every sentence. Wonderful. Trudged back to the campus at 4 every day, hungry. I owned one tie and wore it every day (the 70's!) - after a month of staring at it, the girls were ready to kill me. I know it was Ruth Wilson's (TPP advisor) kind recommendation after watching me at PHS that helped me get the job in Venezuela .
I have just always found teaching kids to be fun and exciting. I'm good at making it funny. I have been guest lecturing in NJ high schools in a two day program called ' Theoretical Aerodynamics - a Subject Anyone Can Learn' for many years. We laugh a lot in that class - especially when Shak keeps getting out of First Class to chat with the pretty stewardess and shifts the center of gravity aft!
I am most interested in reaching out to the Teacher Prep community regarding Students2Science - which - after five years - is about to enter a serious growth phase - with a virtual program that will go national and other bricks-and-mortar tech centers like the 10,000 ft2 facility we operate (at 110% capacity) in E Hanover, NJ. We have some very significant partnerships in discussion.
It makes me very sad to learn every year that only 20 or so undergraduates sign on for the fantastic experience I had at Teacher Prep: Sad for the students who miss out of the experience, and sad for the country that could use a hundred or so of them in classrooms every year.