2013 Teacher of the Year Finalist - Tracey Jensen

Tracey Jensen
Stratford High School
Physics, Grades 10-12

Education: University of California-Los Angeles, Advanced Placement Physics B & C, 2008 & 2012 Texas A&M University, Master of Science in Mathematics, 1986 Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX, Bachelor of Science in Physics, 1983

Teaching History: Stratford High School, Physics, Advanced Placement/PreAP and others, Grades 10-12, 2009-Present Oklahoma School of Science & Mathematics, Oklahoma City, OK, AP Physics, Grades 11-12, 2007-2009 Ponca City High School, Ponca, OK, Special Education, Grades 9-12, 2007 Ponca City Public Schools, Ponca, OK, Substitute, K-12, 2006 Wesleyan Christian School, Bartlesville, OK, Math, Science, Computer Science, Grades 7-8, 1997-1998 Oklahoma Wesleyan College, Bartlesville, OK, College Physics, 1987-1999 Rogers State University, Claremore, OK, College Physics, 1999-2001 New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, College Developmental Math, 1987 Texas A&M University, College Physics/Calculus, 1984-1986

In her own words: “Two years ago, I started a FIRST (For Inspiration in Science and Technology) Robotics Team. I had seen FIRST bring my own child out of his shell and encourage him to complete college. We started with three students and finished the first Build Season with 30 students! This year, I have 48 students on the rolls. Most of these are not PreAP or straight A students. Many can drill and design with ease, but struggle in their course work. All belong to the team. Stronger students tutor weaker students… I overheard a sophomore encouraging a junior to “Keep going – You can pass the Six Weeks!” And he did!”

“This year I started flipping. I put everything on my webpage so everyone knew what was going on each day. I made videos of each of my lectures and put them on YouTube (JensenPhysics). I no longer lecture to 33 students quietly taking notes.”

“In order to instill a passion for learning in our students, we as teachers must have a passion for learning ourselves. My students are shocked when I begin reciting ‘Macbeth’ or give a history lesson, or talk about how the brain is an electrochemical engine. Many students want to know what kind of music I listen to, or what type of books I read, or what games I play.”

In the words of others: “She has embraced the technique of ‘flipping’ her classroom, and has really helped her students to take responsibility for their learning. When students see themselves as primary actors in a classroom, learning increases. Ms. Jensen’s students actively pursue knowledge of physics instead of merely waiting for her to do all the intellectual work.” Straford High Associate Principal Jennifer Jordan

“Tracey eagerly accepted the opportunity to be an ‘early adopter’ on our campus. This program puts a small group of teachers with a consultant with the goal of innovating and sharing ideas. Tracey has used this year to ‘flip’ her classroom for her physics students. She has put in some long hours getting lessons and videos recorded so that they are ready for her students, but the effort is paying off and her students are excelling.” Stratford High Principal Chris Juntti

Selected Honors, Recognitions and Activities:
  • Advanced Placement (AP) Physics Reader, 2012-2013
  • Team Leader for Stratford High Physics and IPC Teachers
  • Texas Nominee for Presidential Awards in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), 2013
  • West Houston Teacher of the Year Nominee, 2012
  • Claes Noel Award (Student Nominated), 2011 & 2012


Spring Branch ISD