My name is Kyle Albernaz. I went to high school in a small Texas town, growing up in a multicultural home with my mother and brothers. I went to the University of Texas at Austin where I received my Bachelor's Degree of Science in Chemistry in Spring of 2017, along with a teaching certification for high school science completed in the Fall of 2017 from the UTeach program at UT.
After graduating, I accepted a position teaching chemistry at Connally High School, a Title I school in Austin, Texas. I worked at Connally for three years, where I sponsored the Science Olympiad club, a competition-based organization for students especially interested in science. The club was newly formed during my tenure, and rose to qualify for state-level competitions in its second year.
After Connally, I accepted a position at the Liberal Arts and Sciences Academy, a public charter school. There, I taught anatomy and physiology, medical microbiology, and pathophysiology to magnet academy students during a year of virtual learning. The challenges I faced in designing an engaging virtual curriculum for three lab-based classes reminded me of the importance of individualized education that meets students where they are, rather than in reference to traditional standards-based education.
I’m excited to be continuing my teaching career with the wealth of knowledge I’ve built in my early years. Please feel free to look around my website to gain a deeper understanding of my teaching philosophy and my accomplishments, some of which continue below.
My Philosophy and Background
My love for science began at an early age, when I was filled with a curiosity about the world around me. I remember performing mini-experiments in my backyard before I had even begun schooling. During my time at UT, I was involved in research projects across the scientific disciplines, including biology, organic chemistry, astronomy, and education. I found that my role in science was not in making discoveries, but laying the foundation for others to do so.
I became interested in pedagogy as I struggled to learn throughout my education. While pursuing my teaching certification, I was fascinated with finding the methods that were most effective for reaching students from all backgrounds and interest levels. My personal teaching philosophy relies heavily on connecting students’ passions with the material and bridging the gaps between students inclined toward creativity and those inclined towards science (the so-called left and right brain dichotomy).
The pedagogy that speaks to me most personally is Maker Education, a relatively new outlook on STEM education that incorporates artistic expression with what is assumed to be a more rigid discipline. Students are encouraged to explore new methods of learning where mistakes are seen as learning experiences rather than points off a total grade. Maker Education is predominantly project-based, using weeks-long activities to not only learn content, but to solve real-world problems impacting the local community. It is this facet of Maker Education that makes it so powerful; not only is it interesting to students with lower intrinsic motivation, but it allows these students to find meaning in helping others in their immediate surroundings.
My personal pedagogy and Maker Education also works to identify and eliminate gaps found among different populations of students. Maker Education allows for an easier pursuit of equity in the classroom as it is more often than not individualized for each student and their personal challenges and goals. I am confident that using Maker Education in the classroom can bridge not only gaps of motivation but also socioeconomic and systemic gaps.