COSAM News Articles 2020 February Passion for Teaching Inspires Educator to Return to the Classroom as a Student

Passion for Teaching Inspires Educator to Return to the Classroom as a Student

Published: 02/11/2020

By: Maria Gebhardt

“I left teaching to learn more about how science works,” explained Josh Hall, a doctoral student in the Department of Biological Sciences. “By understanding more about science, I can be a better educator impacting students and preparing them for bright and rewarding futures.” 

After graduating with his undergraduate degree, he taught high school science courses for five years and then Hall returned as a graduate student at Auburn University. 

“Science is a process and not just a collection of facts for students to memorize,” he added. 

Hall wanted to return to earn his Ph.D. because he knew the knowledge would help him become a passionate teacher that could create more memorable learning experiences in the classroom. 

“By conducting the extensive research for my doctoral degree, I have gained tremendous understanding of how science works and the importance behind the concepts,” Hall said. “I will be able to apply this knowledge back in the classroom.” 

As a high school science teacher, Hall would collect ferns, mosses and other items from his backyard to create hands-on experiences for his advanced placement biology students. 

“Josh was an outstanding educator before he arrived at Auburn, and his teaching excellence has only improved during his time here,” shared Dan Warner, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. “Additionally, Josh has also developed into an excellent scientist over the past five years of his Ph.D. in the Department. Having both these qualities (great teacher and scientist) in a science educator is rare and extremely important for students.” 

Hall is ready for his next chapter in life.  

“After I graduate this year, I am looking forward to returning to teaching and making a difference to students in their biology classes,” he shared. 

Hall even keeps in contact with former high school students that are continuing to further their education. 

“Being able to have coffee with a former high school student that I taught who is now a graduate student in college is extremely rewarding,” Hall explained. “Impacting the lives of students and encouraging them to pursue their education to their fullest potential makes me proud to be an educator.” 


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