On January 23, 2020, Dr. Anthony Hollenberg, Weill Chair, WDOM, hosted a group of more than 20 teachers selected by The Academy for Teachers to participate in a master class at Weill Cornell Medicine.
Part of The Academy for Teachers’ mission is to raise respect for teachers in NYC and the teaching profession as a whole; those teachers who were selected for Dr. Hollenberg’s master class had undergone a competitive process. All of them were science teachers, most of whom teach Living Environment (biology with an eye to the way that organisms interact with each other and with their environment). After a teacher completes a master class, they become a Fellow of The Academy for Teachers. The Academy draws teachers from all grade levels, with a number of them teaching across the primary and secondary levels.
The Academy for Teachers states, “Successful people understand the importance of passion in a teacher. They know, often from personal experience, that a great teacher can change a life.” In addition to Dr. Hollenberg’s presentation on the function and impact of the thyroid, Dr. Laura Alonso, Chief, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, WDOM, presented a lecture on diabetes. The day’s activities also included question and answer sessions, as well as a tour of laboratories in the Belfer Research Building. From participant comments, it was evident that the day provided a unique opportunity to gain new knowledge, which they will be taking back to the classroom.
“I found today’s master class to be extremely valuable for gaining an in-depth understanding of the thyroid gland, diabetes, and the most up-to-date scientific studies, including the use of iPS (induced pluripotent stem cells) for medical purposes. It was fascinating touring WDOM labs, hearing from scientists working on a wide array of research projects, and seeing the latest lab equipment. It was a really inspiring day,” said one teacher. Several teachers reported that they concluded the thyroid deserves a more central place in their curriculums, having learned about the enormous range of developmental processes it affects (e.g., gait, color vision, memory, and more).
"The Academy for Teachers is grateful for our new partnership with Weill Cornel Medicine,” said Sam Swope, Founder and President of The Academy for Teachers. “The teachers selected to take part in this master class gained a deeper understanding of the endocrine system, learned about new career paths for their students, and returned to their classrooms feeling inspired and respected. It was a perfect day."