Tippecanoe School Corporation
Meet the Teacher - Alaina Watson
Kerry Yoder

I from Brown County, Indiana. I have a husband and two fur babies! My dog is a miniature dachshund named Pippin and I have a cat named Matilda.

I received a bachelor's degree from Purdue in Applied Physics as well as Planetary Sciences. After I finished that, I decided that I wanted to become a teacher! Rather than add two more years to my bachelor's degree, I pursued a master's degree in Physics Education and got my license through the Transition to Teaching Program. After my master's, I started a PhD in Physics Education but ultimately decided to pursue teaching full time instead!

I teach physics for those lightbulb moments. I love working with students who feel like they will never understand what you are teaching them and then it all finally comes together! Physics usually gets a bad reputation for being extremely difficult because it requires a new way of problem-solving that students are not used to. My favorite memory from student teaching was actually during a history-based project that I did during our planetary motion unit targeting the nature of science. For this project groups were given a scientific theory to research relating to gravity and planetary motion. One of the students was researching the theories that came before Sir Isaac Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation and found that there were scientists before Newton who had written about similar findings before him. The student said, "wait a minute, so Newton didn't discover gravity on his own?" I responded, "nope, he built on the findings of others and was the first to publish a full explanation of the findings." The student kind of frowned and said, "I don't like Newton anymore." At the time this made me laugh but I think there was some really profound learning here about the scientific method! Newton wasn't some mega-genius who figured it all out on his own, he himself said that "he stands on the shoulders of giants." Which is what science is all about!

Outside of school I have a few hobbies. One thing that I do to decompress is sew. I love how it is a perfect marriage between applied mathematics and the arts! Also, when the weather is nice, I LOVE to hike. My favorite place to go around here is Turkey Run, but, being from Brown County, the state park down there holds a very special place in my heart!