Keely Romberger – Bringing Smiles to her Science Students
Science teacher Keely Romberger is in her third year at Camelot Education’s Harrisburg, Pennsylvania campus. She teaches science to 6 to 12th graders. The Mansfield University graduate actually started as a music teacher since she had a Master’s in Music Education before moving to being a science teacher.
“She is one of the best motivators on our team,” says Executive Director James Snyder. “She is also very quirky and a lot of fun.”
Romberger said that’s because her goal every day is to make someone happy.
“My goal is to put a smile on someone’s face every day and to focus on one positive thing,” she said. Coming from a small rural town developed her passion for science.
“I saw a deficiency in learning in the students. Being from a rural environment you interact with animals and observe the natural world more closely, in ways people from urban environments normally don’t,” she said. “I wanted to develop a passion for learning science in the students. Most of them don’t understand about animals, or even simple things like gardens. They get the background on music. It’s knowledge of science that they lack.”
Her background in music helps in her teaching of science by enabling her creativity.
“I’m always coming up with creative projects,” she said. “You have to take the hands-on approach to teaching science and develop classroom strategies. For instance, I’ll create rap songs to help them remember things. That taps into their creativity. Teaching at Camelot is very different from teaching students in a mainstream education environment. I find that I can be more open with my students. In mainstream education you’re teaching to the tests. Here, we’re teaching them skills for life – manners, strategies for learning. Many of them come here and don’t know how to grasp the concepts of learning. I can also say that teaching middle schoolers and high school students is not all that different. I display more energy with the middle schoolers and transfer that to my high school students. They say they don’t like it but they do. I don’t think any of my students don’t get their work done.”
Romberger said one of her students really exemplifies the work that teachers and staff accomplish at Camelot. He started out being a very difficult young person.
“We couldn’t get him to sit. He wouldn’t do his work. It took a lot of patience to reach him and instill a degree of trust. After about, oh, it had to be a year, he was able to sit with the rest of the class. He became very polite to everyone. He moved to the Excel program in order to graduate,” she said. “In the process he became a father and went on to graduate. He told us that our giving him chance after chance made him a better father. That’s what we do. We teach the students entrusted to us not just to be successful in school but to be successful in life.”