Mr. Dawson Laubenstein: Integrated Science

Mr. Dawson Laubenstein: Integrated Science

   Many people have fond memories or unforgettable moments at least once in their life that struck their curiosity in different topics, whether that happens early in one’s childhood or later on into adulthood. Mr. Dawson Laubenstein is an Integrated Science teacher, and this is his first semester teaching. The moment in his life that sparked his love for teaching actually happened in the middle of his high school career.

   “I decided that I wanted to become a teacher back in high school,” said Mr. Laubenstein. “I started working as a merit badge counselor for the Boy Scouts of America before my junior year of high school. I remember at the start of my first week, I believe the thought that came to my mind when I started teaching was, ‘What have you just gotten yourself into!’ At the end of that first week, that thought changed into, ‘I think I want to do this for the rest of my life.’ I have pursued education ever since.”

   This strange 2020-2021 school year has been a thorn in many teachers’ sides. Adjusting to COVID-19 with restrictions is very difficult. It is even more difficult for new faculty members having to adjust in such an odd setting for their first year educating. This has especially been true for Mr. Laubenstein.

   “I would say that my biggest struggle thus far has just been attendance,” he said. “I normally correlate names with faces, and not being able to see my students’ faces has made taking attendance a real struggle.”

   Despite this, Mr. Laubenstein was able to prepare well to accommodate this change in school scenery. He claims that the reason this was possible was because of his time as a student-teacher.

   “Honestly, I think things would have been more challenging if I had not student taught the semester prior. Having my student teaching semester during the pandemic had really prepared me for teaching students online and had gotten me used to different teaching applications like Google Classroom.”

   In addition, he also states that classroom management is an incredibly strenuous aspect of the entire teaching experience.

   “In general, one of the hardest parts about teaching is classroom management,” said Mr. Laubenstein. “Classroom management refers to the skills and techniques that teachers use to not only help students focus and stay on task, but to also monitor and promote good behaviors in the classroom.”

   Mr. Laubenstein’s love for science began at a place called Adler Planetarium. The planetarium is an industrial public museum founded in the city of Chicago by business leader Max Adler in 1930. Museum Campus, the park in which the planetarium is located, is a hotspot for people with a fascination for astronomy and astrophysics: Mr. Laubenstein being one of those individuals.

   “What got me interested in science was a fifth-grade field trip to the Adler Planetarium,” said Laubenstein. “I just remember being in awe the entire day, and I remember telling myself that I wanted to become an astronaut and explore the cosmos. That dream changed, however, when I took honors chemistry at Rockford East. I honestly fell in love with the subject, and I wanted to know more about how these tiny particles make up the world around us.”