Teaching the Future: Meet Middletown's Newest STEM Teacher, Joshua Beagan
Newbie to the STEM department (science, technology, engineering, math), Joshua Beagan, is the only new teacher to join the Gaudet Middle School faculty this year.
Joshua Beagan speaks of teaching like you would hope any teacher would. His words are passionate, caring, and eager. His vision, wide-eyed. As an enthusiast of the math and sciences, he hopes to grasp the interest of his students, while also meeting the expectations of his superiors, “I look forward to the challenge of a new position.”
As many schools are making cuts in their budget, the Gaudet Middle School has made a major push for the STEM department by bringing on Beagan. For the last nine years he has been involved with RITES (Rhode Island Technology Enhanced Science) to develop the STEM curriculum with the hopes that it will stick with the young kids he is teaching, “I hope to bring a program that introduces kids to ideas like the design process in engineering, how mathematics and science play such an important role in the high demand jobs of the future, exposing the kids to developing field like robotics, design and fabrication of materials and problem based learning.”
Beagan hopes to upgrade the room from the “old shop room” to being more STEM-focused by eventually adding computers, simulation machines and other teaching aids to help the students get a well-rounded, hands-on experience.
He goes on to say, “I read about and see many school districts that have to cut programs and Middletown is still wanting to develop this program despite declining revenues. I think that speaks volumes about the people in charge of this district and their vision. As a teacher, it is a good feeling.”
For Beagan, teaching was in his blood. “I grew up in a family of teachers who had many friends as teachers.” Having grown up around educators his whole life, it was no surprise that he became a teacher 11 years ago and shows no signs of wavering interest. “I grew up listening to my parents talk about how rewarding it was when they helped a student or when their students ‘got it.’ I wanted to do what they did and hopefully have the same affect on kids as my parents did on their students.”
As for being the new guy, Beagan seems to fit right in. “My first few days have been spectacular. All of the teachers and staff have been asking me to join them at lunch, have been showing me how things work at Gaudet, asking me if I needed anything. They make the effort and made me immediately feel part of a community.”
The students have taken a liking to him as well, telling him about local scrimmages, how the surf has been lately.
With new beginnings, it can be hard to find your niche and it looks like Gaudet has helped him find a place where he will grow and inspire. “Everyone here has made me feel so welcome. I really want to thank everyone at Gaudet and Central Office for giving me such a great opportunity. I hope I can do a good job for my students, the parents and everyone that I work with.”
Beagan reiterates, “I cannot say this enough, I really feel lucky.”