Jeremy Edwards

“I teach Biology but the students are learning so much more.” Jeremy Edwards of Woodstock teaches freshman Accelerated Biology and Advanced Placement Biology at Belvidere High School. He has 15 years of teaching experience in science education, the last five being at BHS. Early in his tenure at BHS, Jeremy started to hate going to work, where he would present material to a class, review it, run a lab to reinforce learning, then test students to see if they remembered it. He considered leaving the field. Then he discovered Certifications, which turned his classes, his teaching and his attitude around. “My commitment is now to developing students with research, presentation and critical thinking skills to guide them as they progress throughout their academic career. “ He presents questions and challenges, then provides resources for his students to discover the answers for themselves. The students own their learning process and present the material to him in their own way to show that they have mastered the topic. Each Certification is tied to a Next Generation Science Standard. Jeremy also helps students discover their learning patterns, helping them more successfully organize their research. BHS Principal Billy Lewis recommends Edwards, saying, “His vision and influence are ever-expanding, to the benefit of both staff and students of our school.” Jeremy is committed to continuous improvement and leads beyond his classroom. He was selected by the district superintendent to showcase his student-centered model in a video sent to all district staff. More and more teachers are using his example to create their own version of Certifications specific to their subjects. He is currently the science department content leader, school improvement team member, advanced placement committee member and biology team curriculum representative. He leads the Biology Professional Learning Community. Jeremy has presented certifications at the district school improvement days, at the 2018 Raising Student Achievement Conference in Chicago and has submitted a proposal to present at the National Advanced Placement Conference in the summer. Jeremy has joined other teachers in BUCS Abroad to travel the world with students, allowing him to increase parental involvement, collaborate with teachers from other fields and help students learn about different. Oh, and he’s also the head boys golf coach. As one of his student nominators says, “Mr. Edwards helped us become super independent. He also made us realize that we can do things on our own and he is truly helping us. By teaching the way he does, we can tell that he is really passionate about his job and that he also cares about his students enough to carry a conversation.”