Steven P. Schwartz Wins A 2013 Blackboard Award For Teachers

What are some of the key joys and challenges of being a science teacher?

I consider myself extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to spend my entire teaching career at SHSH and watch the school evolve. I have been blessed to be able to work with a highly committed and caring faculty, to interact with a supportive and cooperative parent body, and, most important of all, to teach a now large group of children who I can honestly describe as almost universally genuinely nice kids.

Tell us about any special projects or initiatives you are most proud of this year. 

I am proud of the fact that not only have I lasted 30 years at the same private school (which I think is fairly unusual), but also that I can count the number of parental criticisms over the years on one, maybe two, hands.

Over the course of your career, what do you consider some of your greatest accomplishments to date? 

Originally, it was my hope to teach at the college or university level and, in fact, while I was a graduate student at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, I served as a teaching assistant for the histology and neuroscience courses given to first-year medical students. However, even though I was apparently quite effective, I learned that research was not my forte and decided to leave graduate school after earning a master’s degree. I must admit that even though it seems a lifetime ago, I look back on the fact that I taught future doctors and that I wrote a scientific article that was published in a respected journal with some pleasure.

What drives you and keeps you motivated to continue your hard work as a teacher on a daily basis?

The enjoyment I receive from interacting with children is the driving force that keeps me motivated to work hard as a teacher. And the occasional “aha” moments, or hearing “cool” or “neat” from the kids, send chills down my spine.

For more information about the Blackboard Awards, visit blackboardawards.com