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Elementary Science

Overcoming fears about teaching science?

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Hi everyone,

Science is the subject that intimidates me the most since I can recall. There are parts of science that I love and find so fascinating but other parts I find so hard to understand. What can I do as a future teacher to overcome these anxious feelings about teaching science? I want to be 100% ready to teach science to ensure the success of my future students.

Emma Nelson Emma Nelson 615 Points


I completely understand your anxiety when thinking about teaching science. I felt the same way about teaching science for a long time. What changed was learning that it was okay not to understand everything. It is okay not to know the answers to every question a student may ask. What is important is that you take the time to research and learn from that question. Taking time to educate yourself is crucial when teaching anything, especially science. Unless you understand and love science, I feel that many people have difficulty connecting and wanting to teach science because of their anxiety. Please know it is okay to not 100% know. It is not okay to not 100% try to educate yourself for your students. You got this!

Emma Nelson

Wartburg College '24

Pre-service Teacher

Taylor Runchey Taylor Runchey 985 Points


Hi there! I can definitely relate to where you're coming from. Science was my least favorite subject during middle school and high school, so when I began college I was very nervous about learning to teach science. However, my science professor and science classes during college have really changed my perspective. Since there are parts of science you already enjoy and find highly interesting, I would say to bring that curiosity into every aspect of science - even the parts that are more difficult to grasp. I believe an attitude of curiosity is something that can help all of us prepare to teach science, and live our daily lives like scientists! Develop a habit of asking questions about everything around you! Start with your surroundings and the surroundings of your students. The Constructivist learning theory (Piaget, 1968) tells us that learners construct knowledge by combining already existing experiences with new information. In other words, we can gain deeper understanding when we start with things we know and build outward. When there are things we don't know as teachers, we can model to our students how to ask questions and pursue those. We certainly won't understand everything right away, but with excitement and willingness to learn, I believe we will be ready to teach students what it means to be a scientist and approach everything in that way! One idea being implemented in Iowa is using phenomena in our state to spark questioning, activities, and lessons (Iowa PBS). Investigating phenomena around your school could be a great place to start! I hope this helps - your students will be lucky to be in your classroom! 

Here is a link to the Iowa PBS Phenomena Website: 

Taylor Runchey (Wartburg College, Pre-Service Teacher)

Irma Garza Irma Garza 790 Points

Hi Yuridia! 

As a future educator myself, I genuinely understand where you are coming from and why you doubt yourself in teaching science. I share the same feelings as you because science has also never been one of my strongest subjects, and frankly, it still is one of my weakest areas as an adult and future teacher. However, reflecting on my experiences thus far in my university's teacher preparation program, I've learned that it is common and understandable for new teachers and perhaps even experienced teachers to have worries or concerns about educating, particularly when doing so in relation to a topic or subject that we don't feel suited for.

Nevertheless, to overcome the fear, the best advice I can give you is to make little, yet noticeable improvements in your daily teaching so that you eventually reach your high standards and feel comfortable with the subject. These improvements can include: asking colleagues for help/advice, incorporating student input in your practices, handling each day calmly, and constantly remembering that one bad day or one mistake will not define you as an educator. You'll never feel completely prepared, but trust your knowledge and intuition and you should be fine. Best of luck!

Matt Bobrowsky Matt Bobrowsky 6380 Points

Check out my Science 101 columns in Science and Children.

They provide both science background information for you, as well as activities you can do with your students in the classroom.

Also, after you start teaching, ask your admins to provide some science professional development for the teachers.  I've conducted science PD workshops for teachers both in person and online, but you can look for some PD in your area.

Elise Dickerson Elise Dickerson 1078 Points


I think preparation is important to this topic. The more you are comfortable (due to practice, education, and professional development), the more confident you will be! Just remember, science is naturally engaging to children and mistakes WILL happen. don't be afraid to admit them and plan for them.


Sara White Sara White 10 Points

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