Tracie’s “teach by example” method of teaching science was eye opening and extremely inspirational. By incorporating and modeling a variety of research-based student-centered learning strategies as well as experiments and projects, Tracie’s methodologies allowed my students to readily combine what they learned and as well as what they knew and made their personal learning experience deeper and richer. The impact on my students was valuable. They were able to conduct hands-on laboratory activities to experience science while learning new science content. I am forever grateful for Tracie’s expertise and knowledge of all things science and learning.
Abby, 4th grade teacher
Tracie Cain is an amazing teacher and mentor. As her principal, I observed her in and out of the classroom and was always extremely impressed with her energetic passion for teaching and her ability to inspire a love of science in her students and colleagues. Her creative and well-planned lessons kept her students engaged as she guided them to find solutions to complex problems. Mrs. Cain’s students sometimes bemoaned the fact that she wouldn’t just give them the answer or tell them what to do, but they ultimately discovered that she was providing them with life lessons that would serve them well in their future endeavors. She challenged her students to think critically and to investigate a little bit further, taking them out of their comfort zone. It is no wonder that Tracie Cain was awarded a Loeb Prize for Excellence in Teaching presented at the St. Louis Science Center in 2015.
Tracie Cain shines as a mentor for other teachers. As with her students, she never tells colleagues what to do, but rather guides them in exploring their goals and discovering creative ways to engage their students in mastering challenging concepts. Tracie delights in seeing her colleagues grow as professional educators and cares deeply about their success. Her enthusiastic commitment to science education inspires her colleagues to strive for the same level of dedication and professionalism. Whether as a teacher or mentor, Tracie Cain is a superstar!
Jane, Former Principal
"As an experienced teacher, about 15 years ago, I was interested in expanding my teaching skills and and methods. At the time, the Missouri Botanical Garden offered a week-long professional development workshop that sounded interesting and just what I was looking for. That is where I first met Tracie Cain. She had attended the Exploratorium in San Francisco where she was trained a s facilitator to teach inquiry-based science lessons. Tracie's excitement, expertise and love of teaching permeated every aspect of this workshop. She thoughtfully set up learning challenges, directed us to ask testable questions and guided our lesson plan development. She was and still is a an amazing teacher and thoughtful resource. Her deep knowledge of science, keen understanding of how to challenge students and her delightful manner pushes her students to set expectations and succeed are just some of her many talents. What I learned most from the many workshops that I took from Tracie was how to empower students to take responsibility for their learning. She made students the center of the experience, gave them control and gently guided them. I hear her words of encouragement: Challenge your students. They will always amaze you.
Deena, current middle and high school teacher
"Every day that I had Introduction to Engineering I was so eager to walk in that room. What we did in class was not just basic sit and listen, we learned by using our hands every day. The projects that we completed were unique and exciting. I don’t remember one day when we stayed in a chair for the whole class. This class, and Mrs. Cain, helped me to determine that I want to major in engineering! ”