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My Name Is ... Emily Schreiner

Teaching, snowboarding and the invention unknown

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About me

I'm a teacher. My job is to see how youth are trying to be adults and help them find their path. I was surprised how being a teacher you have a job that you go to that doesn't feel like work. I think because it has purpose. It's never wasted time or just clocking in. It's doing something I believe in. And you have to like the kids to do that. Not just think it's for a good purpose, but truly enjoy them at this age, and I do.

Teaching physics it would be easy to get a job at a school where you just have juniors and seniors, and you're teaching the best and the brightest. At Northglenn High School, all freshmen take physics, which is unique. That's why I came here, because I get them all.

Purpose, not prestige

When I got done with my physics degree, I started to work with some research. And I was working with a group doing research in homeland security. I helped build a neutron detector. It's for seeing radiation in truck-sized things. It was really cool – it was prestigious cool. I started going into my master's program for prestige, and it took me that long to figure out I wanted purpose instead of just prestige. So I switched to teaching, partly because I still got to do the physics I loved, but also because I had been teaching snowboarding for a long time and tutoring kids in physics. The ideas went together.

Researching new ideas


I am a part of Streamline to Mastery, which is a program through Boulder. We do educational research. We present all across the United States. We pick our own research projects that we're interested in. I've done one on girls' interest in STEM, and my last one was on reflection and how it changed group-work behavior. I just got a grant to get standing desks. So next year, I'm going to do standing desks and how that changes attentiveness.

The most exciting invention of all time...

The new ones are exciting because they're new. Phones and satellites because they made it where we could stay in communication without being bound to one place. I think the next one that's coming is the most exciting. My kids are working on things that aren't even quite possible. That they even have ideas that haven't happened before is exciting. It's exciting that we keep trying to invent.

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