Genevive Bjorn

Genevive Bjorn joined the EnCorps STEM Teachers Program in 2013. Prior to teaching, Genevive trained as a biomedical scientist and she worked as a scientific journalist. In 2017, she received the Maitland P. Simmons Award for New Teachers from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). Genevive is proud to be a point person for new teachers who join NSTA. She attributes her teaching success and accolades to EnCorps.

Genevive Bjorn joined the EnCorps STEM Teachers Program in 2013. With guidance from EnCorps, she earned her secondary science teaching credential in biology and chemistry and master’s degree in education from University of California, San Diego in 2015. Genevive interned at Eastlake High in Chula Vista, a public high school located a few miles from the U.S.-Mexico international border, where she now teaches chemistry. In 2017, she published a peer-reviewed paper on arguing from evidence in the journal, The Science Teacher, and recently received the Maitland P. Simmons Award for New Teachers from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). Genevive is proud to be a point person for new teachers who join NSTA.

Prior to teaching, Genevive trained as a biomedical scientist specializing in vaccine development and infectious diseases with a fellowship from National Institutes of Health. She also worked as a scientific journalist and was a regular contributor to publications such as The New York Times and Nature Medicine. Although Genevive was a scientific journalist for 10 years and a biomedical scientist, she says that teaching is the hardest job she has ever done, but also the most rewarding. She is grateful for the support, mentorship and professional development EnCorps provides. During the EnCorps Fellowship, Genevive was able to observe nearly 30 classrooms, which helped her determine what age group, teaching subject, and school environment would be the best fit for her teaching career. The classroom management techniques Genevive learned at EnCorps workshops have had a great impact on her practice, which lead to her successes with students and accolades. She is now a coach for new teachers at her school.

There are always students that make a big impact on your life. In her first year of teaching, Genevive had one quiet boy in particular that caught her attention. He was failing her class and his grade was steadily dropping throughout the first semester. At first, she didn’t understand why he was failing because he did such great work in class. He just wasn’t turning in any of his work. One morning, Genevive stopped at Target on her way to school and got an accordion folder. She instructed her student: “Put all your chemistry work into this folder, and at the end of the unit, give the folder to me.” It started a dialogue about what the student needed to succeed. Genevive believes that it’s always worth it to investigate why a student is not performing. After she addressed her student’s issue with organization, he ended up getting the highest score in class in the second semester. He got accepted to 6 colleges with scholarship offers. Genevive shared, “It all started with an open dialogue, and then he just blossomed.”