Rebekah Schultze is our seventh and eighth-grade science teacher. She is inspired by walking alongside students and celebrating them as they develop their thinking and grasp new concepts. She never gets tired of hearing students’ questions and understanding their process as they master new concepts to see the world with new, scientific eyes. Having taught in Germany for seven years and honoring her education along the way makes her a great fit for Livingston’s Classical Education.
Read more about her.
What was your journey to obtain your college degree? What school did you attend?
I obtained my undergraduate degree from the University of Northern Colorado in 2009 and my master’s degree from the University of Heidelberg in Heidelberg, Germany in 2011.
Who inspired you or why did you choose to become a teacher?
I taught English in Germany for seven years: something I began as a part-time job while completing my master’s degree. My students inspired me to continue teaching. I never get tired of walking along with students and celebrating with them as they develop their thinking, grasp new concepts, and get excited about new subjects and specialties. I am further inspired by many teachers throughout my educational career, especially my middle school math teacher, and several high school history teachers.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised in Centennial, Colorado.
What are you most looking forward to this school year at Livingston Academy?
I am most looking forward to spending time with students and seeing them get excited about science and make new connections. For me, teaching is deeply relational. Students are continually teaching me to look at the world in a different light and I love hearing their questions and walking alongside them as they discover new things about the world around them.
What is your favorite classical book and why?
I read Jane Eyre in high school and have re-read it more than any other book. I love Jane and her character arc as well as the virtues that she shows (that remind me of our virtues at LCA: courage, perseverance, courtesy, honesty, service, and self-government)
Which virtue resonates most with you? How do you (or will you) incorporate it into your classroom?
I speak a lot with students about perseverance and self-government. Scientists must have a great deal of perseverance to test, reformulate and re-test hypotheses in order to reach breakthroughs in their fields. When we look at some of the most famous scientists, we see that many never even received recognition in their lifetimes but their commitment to their field and perseverance in the face of doubt led to a deeper understanding of scientific principles that shape our thinking today. Others experienced failure time and time again before finally honing their hypothesis to come to a breakthrough. As a society, we tend to focus on the breakthrough moments: the thing for which someone wins the Nobel Prize. In my class, we also focus on the scientific journey and collaboration with others that lead to such moments of success.
What is your favorite part of teaching?
My favorite part of teaching is helping students make breakthroughs in knowledge and understanding. I never get tired of hearing their questions and understanding their process as they master new concepts to see the world with new, scientific eyes.
What techniques do you use that students really gravitate toward?
I prepare students to be scientists – we practice asking scientific questions, designing scientific investigations, conducting scientific tests, and sharing scientific results. Everyone’s favorite step is the conduction of experiments, but I find that students appreciate being treated as scientists and both learning and practicing the skills of scientific inquiry.
How would a student best describe you?
I hope students would describe me as enthusiastic and curious.
What do you do outside of the classroom? What are your hobbies?
I love to spend time with my husband and our nine-month-old son. We like to hike and ride our bikes. I grew up competing in water ski tournaments and although I no longer compete, I would never pass up a chance to get out on the water (or go over a jump!) In the winter, I think there is nothing better than curling up with a good book and a hot cup of coffee.