Michael Jansen

Head of Science; Director, Summer Academic Program
How long have you been teaching at Crescent?
Since 1988; but who’s counting?

What motivated you to become a teacher?
As a graduate student, I got a lot of joy as a laboratory instructor and as a teaching assistant. This pretty much did it for me.

Describe a significant experience in your career.
I don’t think that my teaching career is punctuated by “stand-outs” but by solid, significant everyday experiences that continue to form me as an educator.

What is your philosophy of education?
Got two hours? . . . Education is the fostering of learning. In the classroom the teacher teaches; he or she explains, provides opportunities for understanding and assigns practice. Students engage in the lesson; they ask questions and they understand. They take notes. At home, when students revise their notes, complete homework and otherwise study – they learn. Learning boils down to a lot of hard work, most of it with pen-and-paper.

Career Notes
  • Teaching career began in 1986 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; joined Crescent School faculty in 1988
  • Certificate of Achievement in 2018 Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence
  • Winner of the 2017 Beaumier Award for High School/CÉGEP Chemistry Teachers
  • Co-author of four chemistry textbooks published by McGraw-Hill Ryerson
  • Published in Journal of Chemical Education
  • Regular contributor and member of editorial board for Chem 13 News magazine
  • Frequent presenter at conferences, including Science Teachers’ Association of Ontario, Chemical Institute of Canada and Toronto District School Board
  • Taught additional qualification courses for science teachers at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) for eight years
  • Co-curricular activities at Crescent include leading international Outreach trips (India and Tanzania), and advising the photography club and the chemistry education research group, where students develop labs for the curriculum