Mr. Boehringer’s Bio

I am pleased to announce that although I have taken on a new job as Assistant Principal at Prosper High School, I am continuing to teach physics at the university level at my alma mater, the University of Dallas.  I will be joining the physics department at the university as an adjunct professor, and am currently scheduled to teach off semester calculus-based physics.

Me at Meteor Crater in Arizona, Summer 2010

As the child of an engineer (literally a rocket scientist, but my Dad hates it when I say that), and of a math teacher and accomplished musician, I became interested in the science of how things around me worked at a young age.  While in high-school I latched onto both physics and calculus (an elegant math that made all other math make sense for me) and decided to major in physics.

I earned my B.S. in Physics from the University of Dallas in Irving in 2002.  After a year as part of a research team investigating the internal structure of the Tellurium nucleus and writing a thesis based on that research I decided that I really missed the teaching that I had done as a TA.  I obtained a job at Lancaster High School in Lancaster, TX and I earned my teaching certificate through Region 10’s Alternative Certification program.  For the ’04-’05 school-year I moved to McKinney, Texas where I established an AP Physics program.  I taught in McKinney for six wonderful years.  In 2010 I took over as Physics Team Leader at Prosper High School and continue to build the AP Physics program on this campus.  In 2012 I inherited  the responsibility of Science Department Chairman.  During the Spring of 2013 my colleagues honored me by selecting me to be the Teacher of the Year for Prosper High School.    I am also now the coordinator for UIL academic contests at Prosper High School and the UIL Science team and Ready Writing team coach.  I founded of the Texas Physics Teacher Project, a summer professional workshop for experienced physics teachers.  I recently completed my Master’s in Educational Leadership and Administration from Texas A&M University, Commerce, graduating in May of 2014.  For the 2015-16 school year I have been able to continue to serve students as an assistant principal at Prosper High School and, as noted above, will continue to teach physics, but now at the university level.

Philosophy
My educational and teaching philosophy has a few key tenets in which I believe strongly:

  • It’s not what you teach, but how you teach it. When the mind of a student is engaged to learn, even a subject that may be complicated, abstract, dense, or boring, can come alive for a student.
  • Education is a partnership between the learner and the teacher.  Only when both parties accept full responsibility (at 100%…its not a 50-50 thing) can learning at the highest levels occur.
  • Education is more about learning how to learn, rather than what.  An educated person knows how to learn new things and can apply knowledge.  A person who just went to school just “knows stuff.”
  • You don’t need a practical reason to learn every bit of every subject.  The answer to “When are we going to use this stuff?” is sometimes “Never. But it makes you a better human being for understanding it.”
  • Academic learning is NOT separate from social learning.  Teachers must challenge their students in ways that are not easy to measure under a “standard” or a “rubric.”  Sometimes creativity, effort, timeliness, neatness, and self-discipline are a necessary part of the academic process.
  • Perhaps most importantly: Students learn the best when challenged and supported.  A good teacher does both.  It can’t be just one or the other.  The bar in life is high.  If a course doesn’t push students then they will never access their full potential.  If grades come too easily then little is learned and the scores lose their meaning.

Professional Goals
Since my heart is bound to the classroom, it is my ultimate professional goal to take on first significant roles in campus leadership, and eventually a leadership position as a senior director of academic programs in public school administration.  While that goal may seem to run away from the classroom, I want to address some pressing problems in education that revolve around the analysis of academic and co-curricular program data.  My desire is to apply an honest and scientific discussion to student performance, improving the classroom experience and outcome for ALL students.  Questions I hope to help schools address include:

  • What are we doing in the academic classroom, particularly at the secondary level, and why?
  • Is it working?  Are our students achieving the academic outcomes we seek for them? And at what level?
  • Are resources being allocated appropriately to support academic programs?
  • Are all students achieving at equitable levels commensurate with their potential?

 

I currently live in McKinney, TX with my lovely wife, our newly arrived daughter, our two dogs and wonderful cat.  I enjoy doing things outside, watching weird movies, home improvement projects and a plethora of other hobbies. I’m not very good at it, but I really enjoy building things around the house. I also play goalkeeper for an indoor soccer team.

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