MƒA MASTER TEACHER
High School of American Studies at Lehman College
# of years teaching
A biology major in college, Rajani Kumaraswamy was initially on the pre-med track. After serving as a TA, something clicked for her – she knew she wanted to become a teacher and show kids how exciting science can be. Today, Rajani piques her students’ interest in her biology classroom by fostering an environment of curiosity and using technology to bring science to life. She encourages students to ask questions and think deeply: “When the questions come from them, we have these incredible discussions. It’s a much more dynamic setting, and there is more learning that happens in a classroom like that.”
The plethora of resources within the MƒA community provides Rajani with ideas and supports her goal to stay current in her practice. “When you commit to being a lifelong teacher, you have time to think about your growth and reflect on your teaching. The workshops at MƒA always give me new content and pedagogy to explore.” Rajani enjoys technology-focused courses that offer practical ideas she can immediately implement in her classroom, and she has sought out leadership roles at MƒA by proposing her own biology course and mentoring MƒA Early Career Fellows. “All of these opportunities reinforce that teaching is a real profession and that as educators, we are valued.”
Rajani earned her B.A. in Biology from the University of California-Berkeley and her M.A. in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Most recently, she participated in the Columbia University Summer Research Program for Science Teachers and spent the summer doing research in Australia studying the effect of climate change on coral reefs. She has also presented at an NSTA conference and attended a field experience in the Galapagos Islands for educators.