It is our job as educators to create safe-to-fail spaces for our students. The Knowles Teacher Initiative supports their Fellows in creating safe spaces for their students to explore complex and chaotic problems. As a teacher leader mentor, I am looking forward to exploring these spaces with Knowles Fellows and their students.”

Isaac’s Story

Isaac Robinovitz hails from Michigan, whose dark night skies led him to study astrophysics and physics at the University of Michigan. Leading planetarium shows and tutoring students in astronomy showed him that not just science, but science education was where his real passions lie. He attended graduate school at Cornell University and did his student teaching in New York City. After moving to Chicago and working in science publishing for several years, while also teaching evening classes at Illinois Tech for in-service teachers getting their Middle-Grades Science requirement, he took a job teaching in Chicago Public Schools, where he has taught science for the last 13 years. He is one of the Regional Directors for Science Olympiad in CPS, and has been a coach since his first year in the district.

He focuses his physics and AP Physics classrooms on equity in science, making sure all students feel comfortable in the class and making sure that everyone has a small group within the class with whom they can explore the topics in a safe-to-fail environment, where the best learning happens. He also believes in the importance of forming relationships with other educators with the goal of improving both teacher and student performance and maintaining high standards for all students while immersing them in real world-lab experiences, technology, and individual and group learning opportunities.

When he isn’t teaching, he spends his time with his wife and dog in Chicago, cooking, cycling, woodworking, building and playing guitars, and hiking.