“In 1898, a Russian schoolteacher, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935), proposed the idea of space exploration by rocket. In a report he published in 1903, Tsiolkovsky suggested the use of liquid propellants for rockets in order to achieve greater range. Tsiolkovsky stated that the speed and range of a rocket were limited only by the exhaust velocity of escaping gases. For his ideas, careful research, and great vision, Tsiolkovsky has been called the father of modern astronautics.”
(From the NASA's "Brief History of Rockets" https://www.grc.nasa.gov/www/k-12/TRC/Rockets/history_of_rockets.html)
In the past, in addition to teaching, I was providing consulting services to various agents in the field of education and education policies. Nowadays I mostly just teach.
I teach my students how to use their brain for designing solutions to problems the have never solved before. Any problems, not just in physics, because the process of designing a solution is universal (unless, of course, instead of a brain someone uses a different organ).
The following pages provide full description of my highly diverse, broad and deep professional experience in the field of education, including the parts that make this post very long:
Click here to jump to the Elevator Pitch
* “Executive Summary of Professional Experience”;
Click here to jump to my Teaching Philosophy
* my Reflection on Voices of My Students.
Click here to jump to my Reflection on the Voices of My Students
* Full Elementary Physics Course: two semesters, with lecture notes.
Many people write what they think about education. I write what I know about it - as a professional and as an expert. Athletes and soldiers wear medals.
Dear Visitor, welcome to the full description of my professional history.
The other day I was called in a hallway “Mr. V, hi, do you still teach physics?”
I am a professional in the field of education with an more than ordinary professional experience, including teaching, and the above conversation is one of the items that support my self-assessment.
But I do not see a reason why should I hide the fact that I have a talent even though some other educators may not have it. It does not make me a better person than other people, but it does make me a better teacher than some of other teachers. Plus, I do not make a claim that I am good at everything. I like working in a team. The most efficient team is the one which is composed of people with complementary talents (especially in education).
I believe the following ten pages (more than ten years of teaching!) of good words of what my former students have said about me, represent me better than any official Resume.
The main reason for representing student feedback is to demonstrate that when I talk/write about education, I know what I’m talking (and writing) about; and I know this not just because of books I’ve read, or my theorizing on the matter. I know this because of books I’ve read, because of my own theorizing on the matter, but most importantly because of my own deep, broad, and successful (at least, according to me students) teaching experience.
I know teaching, because I do teaching, and I am good at it; it took time to become a good teacher; I am good at it because I have been constantly analyzing my teaching practice and making it better.
Voices of My Students (and this is a link to copies of some past evaluations)
“Needs to teach the fall/spring semester! Physics makes so much sense!!!”
“He is awesome! Clear when he presents, fun demos, good sense of humor Used real life examples to represent difficult to learn concepts, made class fun he is enthusiastic and experienced.”
“Mr. V's enthusiasm and passion for what he does was clearly reflected in his teaching. By doing a lot of demonstrations and connecting theory to real-life examples he made the material much easier to understand.”
“Makes concept sound simple.”
“I really liked him. One of the best instructors at BU. He explained concepts very well, his exams were pretty straightforward and based off homework. He is really fair. He uses equipment’s to explain the concepts which makes it fun.”
“Mr. V did a great job of going through examples and provided plenty of opportunities to get help.”
“Professor V is overall a good professor who presents material efficiently and for the most part understandably.
I appreciate how he demonstrated phenomena we were learning about in class. I appreciate that he answered questions in class. He provided very good visual experiments to introduce new material.”
“He is very enthusiastic and knows his material.”
“Mr. V’s demonstrations are incredibly helpful to understand the concepts and be able to visualize what is occurring in the world and in class. He teaches the information very well and it is pretty clear what he wants from you. He is always willing to help students and genuinely wants them to do well.”
“This material was significantly more difficult than last semesters, but I found that the teacher presented this material more clearly and at a better pace. The experiments that he did in class were extremely interesting and kept the entire class engaged.”
“Very well spoken, encouraging and funny. Knows the material well and does a great job of explaining difficult concepts with clear demonstrations. Very open in office hours and willing to help. As a professor, he is at first glance abrasive, but with more understanding, very genuine and determined to provide the best for his students.”
“-straightforward, no “beating around the bush” -willing to help students -lectures timed well -clear slides -video recordings of lecture helpful -responds on piazza very quickly! Gives many examples to better the understanding of the materials.”
“Mr. V was enthusiastic about teaching and made the material very understandable. Great at explaining difficult physics topics directly and clearly.”
“I really appreciated all the different resources he provided us that aided in learning. The WebAssign homeworks were reasonable, the lectures were fast-paced but provided good example problems, having old slides helped me focus in lecture, and the demonstrations were always enjoyable and taught concepts well.”
“Very enthusiastic and passionate.”
“Utilize great experiments to really help students to understand the materials amazing”
“He had a great sense of humor, which made morning classes more bearable. Does a good job of presenting material.”
“Clear good demonstrations, funny guy, knows physics well.”
“Enthusiastic, cares about the students, and very funny.”
“Explains material well! amazing professor - makes physics understandable and relatable.”
“Enthusiastic, sarcastic, chill, lectures with intent for us to learn. Demonstrates that physics is not really as hard as we may have believed.”
“I found that Dr. V's presentation of materials was excellent. Even with difficult topics, the way he explains them helps students see an easier way to solve and think about issues.”
“I really didn’t like physics but the Prof actually made it comprehensible which I appreciate. He might not always be the nicest but I think he is well intentioned.”
“Overall, very good presenter and interesting to listen to.
There are a lot of examples that he does in front of the class which is nice. Gives another perspective on the material being taught.”
“He is very knowledgeable, uses good examples and presentations during the lecture, and does a good job making sure we understand the concepts. Explains material in a way that it’s easy to follow and understand for someone who struggled a lot in physics in high school.”
“Enthusiastic about the material, explaining steps for solving specific types of problems and the overall problem-solving strategy, very kind and willing to help students.”
“Dry humor that makes physics bearable. Grading is great. Definitely very friendly and funny, loved his humor.”
“He helps explaining things clearly and goes slow on things so people can understand fully.”
1. Entry125253: High Frequency Data Streams in Education
2. Entry124656: objective measures of physics knowledge
3. Entry125317: National database teacher PD
4. Entry124655: role of NSF in funding education
5. Entry125719: The new type of a science course for science teachers.
6. Entry126205: The development of the uniform standard for measuring content knowledge in physics.
5th-graders; 6-th graders; 7-th graders; 8-th graders; 9-th graders; 10-th graders; 11-th graders; 12-th graders; 2-year college students; 4-year college students; university students; school teachers; school administrators; district administrators.
Physics for Engineers (two semesters); Elementary Physics (two semesters); algebra, geometry; trigonometry; formal logic; problem solving; group theory (discreet and continuous); methods for teaching science courses; methods for advancing individual teaching practice; managing innovations in education (initiation, implementation, growth, support, assessment, audit).
Assistant to Director of an Institute; Administrative assistant to the chairman of a board. Director of Department of computerization and information technologies; Director of Center for Development of City School system; member or a team, leader of a group of consultants for schools and school districts (initiation, implementation, growth, support, assessment, audit of innovations in education).
graduated from schools with high GPA; participated in a wide range of extracurricular activities; developed personal approach to teaching (flipped the classroom before the approach was described in publications); published papers on various aspects of advancing education; converted publications into PhD theses and then found an adviser; moved to a country without knowing the language; learned the language; learned how to teach using foreign language; started publishing in foreign language.
When I was becoming a manager, my mentors taught me that the number one quality of a manager is character, because without character one cannot be decisive, cannot make decisions, especially if they involve risk, hence cannot properly execute his/her function as a manager - making decisions. However, I have also learned, that character is important for anyone to succeed. The fact that I re-stared my career three times, and twice overcame severe financial hardship proves that.
Physics Department; Boston University
European Journal of Physics; 2013 - present time
a reviewer, physics education.
My reflection to the voices of my students.
Probably I am the only professor who is accused of a "grade deflation", the quote:
Appendix IV: more on management, what it is and how it functions
On a personal note:
I am a person who has strong opinions on matters (I believe the U.S. needs more people like that, people who can lay out strong reasons for their statements and take a "blow" of a disagreement). This is one of my favorite Russian wisdoms (more in a different post):
I am aware of the fact that my chance to find many professionals with views similar to mine is slim. The demand for "professional correctness" is taken to such an extreme that it has become a demand for personal conformity. I believe in telling truth. Truth is facts. Facts are science. I believe in science. Facts can be upsetting or encouraging, but facts cannot be offensive. As a master in my field, I have no reservations to offer my specific critique of people whose actions overlap with the field of my expertise (human intelligence). I know (and fine with that) that the chance that my writing will have a significant effect is negligible. But the butterfly effect exists, so the chance is not exactly zero.