AACT Member Spotlight: Loyola Pasiewicz

By AACT on May 4, 2021

Loyola Pasiewicz

Every month AACT spotlights a passionate member who is dedicated to enhancing chemistry inside and outside the classroom. This month, we spotlight Loyola Pasiewicz. She teaches chemistry at Lyons Township High School in La Grange, Illinois.

Tell us about yourself.

I've been teaching high-school chemistry since 2009. I taught at a small high school in Massachusetts for three years prior to moving to Illinois. In addition to working with high school students, I also work with pre-service and early career teachers as a part-time faculty member at DePaul University's College of Education in the teacher-education department. In addition to teaching, I am an avid runner and took up tennis last summer during the pandemic.

Why did you become a teacher? Did you always want to teach?

In high school, I had really great teachers. I knew I wanted to work with children, but it was not until the summer going into my senior year of college that I really decided to pursue a career in teaching. I interned as a teaching assistant at an independent boarding school. I felt at home in the classroom and found meaning in the work I was doing. I came to understand teaching as my vocation. Working with learners and getting to share in their successes, especially after they've struggled with a challenging concept, is one of the best feelings.

Why did you become involved with AACT and what are the benefits of being involved?

I became involved with AACT to be part of the professional organization that fully supports and directly benefits my work as a teacher. When I need a new approach to a topic for a struggling student, or a different activity to help illustrate a concept for my students, I always look to teachchemistry.org first. Before AACT existed, I would spend hours google-ing for ideas, but now I don't have to do that. I know the repository of classroom resources is of the highest quality and I (and my students) find the visual animations and simulations to be incredibly helpful in visualizing the atomic scale.

What do you do to remain current and bring the latest science into the classroom?

Reading is mostly how I stay current and bring the latest science into the classroom. I subscribe to Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), which is a great resource to stay current with the latest chemistry research. I also enjoy the New York Times science section. More locally, I like to look at the chemistry research coming out of local universities.

If you could pass on one word of wisdom to other chemists what would it be?

Continue to be curious.