This page provides the minimum information everyone should know about me.
One of the first things I tell my students is that the most important ability for succeeding in a physics course (and in life) is not mathematics, or even logic, it is imagination (and persistence).
Dr. Valentin Voroshilov:
Imagine that you are on a plain (or taking a train, or a bus), and talking to your neighbor.
Turns out, he is in education; for years has been teaching math, logic, problem solving, but lately mostly physics; developed and taught courses to middle school students, to high school students, to college and university students, to students with learning disabilities; has a M.S. in Theoretical Physics and a PhD in Education with focus on teacher professional development; taught courses to teachers; consulted school and district officials on managing innovations in education; was a consultant to a state department of education to help with writing a program for strategic development of the state system of education; was an assistant to a director of a regional institute for teacher professional development, ran an institution responsible for development of analytical documents and policy recommendation for the department of education of a city of the size of Boston (and often did all this at the same time).
No doubt, you would think that this guy was an expert in the field of education: an expert in teaching, an expert in advancing teaching practices.
This guy is me, Dr. Valentin Voroshilov. I was wearing all those “hats” in Russia before I moved in Boston. My career was very promising, but I gave it up for a chance to move my family away from a new “Tsar”.
At the time, I had no publications in English. I didn't even speak English. I had to start from a square one. First as a janitor. Learning English using books, radio, and TV shows.
Today I have recovered the most of my previous career (very proud of it!): I work full time at Boston University, I teach (mostly physics) and I am good at teaching; I publish (in English!). I’m productive. I am also reentering the field of consulting and teacher professional development.
In the end, I have a very broad teaching and research experience. In one word, I have become a TeachSmith, so to speak. The journey from a teacher to a TeachSmith was long and wavy, but not unique, has many shareable elements common to every professionally growing educator (and summarized in book “Becoming a STEM Teacher”).
To get to know me better, I would recommend to check the following three web-links (would not take more than 20 minutes of total time):
The link to the full bio http://www.teachology.xyz/vvli.html
The link to YouTubeCast “videos” YouTubeCasts
P.S. Please, be advised that I am NOT the only Valentin Voroshilov on the Web, but I am the only one who teaches math and physics, does research in education, writes on education, and consults educators (and anyone who asks J )! Also, I don’t know if I am a relative to Kliment Voroshilov.
P.P.S. I think, there are not many people who would call me “plain”, or “vanilla”. I may polarize people (not always, but it happens)! Most people like me (I hope), and find me smart, and witty, and open, and helpful. But some people do not like me; they try to avoid interactions with me. After having reflecting on many years of my professional life I came up with a conclusion that those people may see me as threat to their “status quo”. I am not sure why do they see me that way; I am not a “cuckoo in the nest” who tries to kick out others and take their place. Maybe it is because I like saying what is on my mind (and not always know how to say straight things and make them sound smoothly). When I have a professional discussion, I often see different possible interpretations of what others say, and want to clarify things for me by asking multiple questions. Maybe because of that people think that I am challenging them, or I do not trust their judgment.
Among several strong traits of mine I would list creativity and productivity (e.g. GoMars.xyz/lc.htm and www.Cognisty.How). My background in theoretical physics coupled with experience in teacher professional development and educational consulting helps me to solve non-trivial problems. I also have a sense of humor (probably with a hint of Russian flavor).
Among various deficiencies of mine, the top one is the language (as a self-taught), and the absence of charisma. Charisma is the ability to say “simple” or “trivial” things in such a way so people would feel like they hear an eye-opening revelation; that makes people feel excited and touched. For me, it is difficult to present modest things as a “revelation”. As the result, often I may sound boring (or, maybe that is because the structure of my thoughts is Russian, but dressed up in English words).
For me, the most of the events fall into one of the two categories: I don’t have an opinion on it; or I do have an opinion on it. In the latter case my opinion is usually strong (which may be considered as both – a strength and a weakness), but only because it is usually based on a specific reasoning, which I always offer to share. I never force anyone to agree with me (at least, outside of the classroom), but I always ask an opponent to present clear logic behind his/her disagreement.
I’m a physicist by trade, but a teacher by genes. That means that judging people is built-in in my genetic code (but I can manage this intention), and Albert Einstein represents the etalon of men.
P.P.P.S. These are some of my favorite sayings (meaning, I love them, not I invented them):
“If you didn't succeed first time, try and try again.”
“Repeating again and again the same actions and expecting a different result is an insanity.”
These two are mine:
“Mistakes are inevitable and unavoidable. There is no shame in making a mistake. There is shame, though, in insisting that you didn't, when even you already know that you did.”
“If you look in a mirror, and do not like what you see, do not blame the mirror!”
(BTW: a mirror is an object or a person interaction with which/whom activates the process of reflection on (a) personal appearance; (b) external environment; or (c) internal psychological state).
It is a well-known fact from psychology that many people value differently the same statement depending on its source; namely, if the statement comes from a person they know and value, they are less critical and more acceptable to the substance of statement (the “halo effect”, for example: https://www.verywell.com/what-is-the-halo-effect-2795906).
I cannot count on the positive bias toward me because I have no recognizable name. That is why I always want to offer some information about me, to solidify my credentials in the field of education.
Next web-links may help to build a better image of me: