Students who are not excited about school love Deborah Siebern-Dennis' 7th grade science class.
A lifelong learner herself, Siebern-Dennis cultivates critical thinkers who learn through hands-on activities. She believes in giving students the tools to explore and manipulate concepts on their own. They also have choices on how to demonstrate their learning – via movies, voice messages, slide shows, simulation and other ways.
Known as the "queen of classroom management," she's a master at utilizing every minute she has with Bode Middle Schoolers to maximize teaching and learning. She believes in the constructivist theory of learning and with science that is a great fit. She skillfully uses the 5E instructional model to engage students in science concepts, which allows for time to engage, explore, explain, elaborate and evaluate. Her students have been described as problem-solvers, risk-takers and lovers of science, thanks to Siebern-Dennis' creativity in the classroom and leadership skills.
Whether it’s social networking, writing for the classroom blog or producing a digital short, technology is an instrumental part of Siebern-Dennis' teaching practices. She uses it as a driving force to connect ideas to the real world and build excitement around learning. Many students come to her classroom with little to no knowledge of Internet tools and leave understanding how to make effective use of technology.
As a testament to her extraordinary commitment as a teacher who strives to find ways to help every student succeed, Siebern-Dennis' 7th grade students have the highest benchmark scores in the district.
She's also an important contributor to benchmark tests and curriculum development as chair of the district science team and member of the Bode leadership group. She worked with the Bode science team to write and implement a $10,000 Toyota Tapestry Grant for "Mastering the Art of Communication in Science." Siebern-Dennis, who often shares her results and strategies at local, state and national levels, is a mentor to many fellow teachers who look up to her as a school leader.
Siebern-Dennis is committed to developing a student-centered learning community where young scholars are intellectually challenged, actively engaged and inspired to learn. She coaches volleyball and track.
Siebern-Dennis graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in middle school education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2005 and a master's degree in educational science/educational leadership from Northwest Missouri State University in 2010.
"We don't [teach] to be recognized. We do it for the kids, and we do it because we have a passion for it. No one goes into teaching..." (read more)