Written by Micah Xu, Converge multimedia journalism intern and Junior at Gwinnett School of Math, Science & Technology (GSMST)
Meet Dr. Stamm, a teacher working at the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (GSMST), and a woman who focuses on teaching students the value of teamwork in the classroom. Dr. Stamm drew her inspiration to be a teacher from her mother, who ironically enough did not want to be a teacher. She says that seeing her mother work so hard originally dissuaded her from the prospect of being a teacher, but seeing the influence that her mother and the influence her own teachers had over the lives and future of her students changed that rapidly for her.
Dr. Stamm wanted to have an impact on the lives of her students, because, as she puts it: “I want to make a difference in other kids’ lives.” This has influenced her teaching style considerably throughout the thirteen years she has been teaching. She was also inspired in her early college years because she watched new freshmen that just came out of high school be entirely unprepared for college. She did not like how little the new students knew about what they wanted to do in life, so she decided to become personally involved with the process and became a high school teacher.
Dr. Stamm teaches engineering, nanotechnology and a course in alternative energy, but she wants to teach the students more than that. Dr. Stamm wants her classroom to “feel like a safe space to take risks”, because risks and mistakes are the foundation of what makes successful people. She describes her teaching style as “Controlled Chaos,” which she says naturally leads to more cooperation and coordination in the classroom.
When a teacher allows the students to take control of their own learning and development, the students tend to cooperate with each other more, since talking, for the most part, is allowed outside of lectures and tests. In her mind, Dr. Stamm “provides the tools to help the students learn,” which essentially has her playing more as an overseer than a controller in the classroom most of the time.
Dr. Stamm says that she wants the classroom to feel comfortable, and having the chance to facilitate that relationship forming makes teaching – despite its trials – worth it for her. She has seen, over the course of her teaching years, the difference she has made on her students, and she is proud to be a teacher in the GSMST family.