A bearded, bespeckled, 22-year-old white kid in a button-down shirt and slacks and too-thin glasses walked into a classroom in the South Bronx, picked up a dry-erase marker and wrote “Mr. Adler” on the whiteboard. “As scientists, a big part of our job is to use our senses to make ‘observations.’ What do you see here on the lab table?” “Vinegar.” “Baking soda.” “And as scientists, what do we often do?” “Experiments!” the students shout in anticipation. “But,” says the instructor, donning a white lab coat and goggles in his best attempt at channeling Bill Nye, “what do we need to do before we begin to experiment? We hypothesize. We make educated guesses about what will happen in our experiment. What do you think is going to happen when I mix the vinegar and baking soda in this film canister and close the cap?” “It’s going to explode!” one student ventures, eyes wide. “Ok, let’s see.” A dash of vinegar, a pinch of baking soda. Five, seven, eight long seconds tick by. Is it working? Then, “POP!” The lid flies to the ceiling, the mixture spills out over the table and the students roar, “did you see that!?” The instructor allows them a few more moments of uncontrolled clamoring and then calls them to attention. “Ok, what did we observe? And why do we think that happened?”

This was August 2009. Three weeks later I was running my own classroom—six sections of sixth grade science—at MS 223: The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology, an NYC Department of Education public middle school (and later, high school) and my professional home for the next six years. I hope to be able to bring this extensive teaching experience to bear as a future faculty member.

My teaching philosophy is premised on the notion that all students are born scientists: iterating over designs for model wind turbines, like my old students, or experimenting with force and angle to push a toy car even farther, like my toddler. I do not believe that some people are “math people.” I do believe that individuals have a variety of learning preferences, strengths and weaknesses, and a variety of personal experiences and life conditions that influence the ways that they engage with and develop new knowledge and skills. I do believe it is our job as educators to understand and appreciate this variety and teach in a way that acknowledges and responds to it. In my teaching practice I work to reach all students through 1) well-planned backward-designed curricula and lessons, to build constructively towards attainable learning goals; 2) activities of considerable variety and lots of choice, to heighten engagement and reach students of varied learning needs, preferences, and backgrounds; and 3) a caring and attentive model of teaching and student engagement focused on inclusion.

The remainder of my Statement of Teaching Philosophy, along with lesson materials and course evaluations from my TA experiences at Stanford are available upon request.

Teaching Assistant Experience, Stanford

Climate and Society

Undergraduate Level

TA for Marshall Burke, David Lobell and Noah Diffenbaugh

Winter 2018

Empirical Methods in Sustainable Development

Graduate Level

TA for Prof. Marshall Burke

Winter 2022 (Hybrid, TA-ed Remotely)

K-12 Teaching Experience, MS/HS 223

6th Grade General Science

General Education, Special Education and/or Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT)

Major Units: Simple Machines, States of Matter, Weather, Interconnectedness of Living Things

Instructor of Record






7th Grade General Science

General Education, Special Education and/or Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT)

Major Units: Transformations of Energy, Qualities of Matter, Cells, Systems of the Human Body, Dynamic Earth, Food Chains and Food Webs




10th Grade Earth Science

General Education

Major Units: Types of Rocks, Plate Tectonics, Earth's History, Weather and Climate

Instructor of Record