1992 Outstanding High School Teacher of the Year
Robert William Taylor received his baccalaureate degree in chemistry and his single subject teaching credential in Physical Sciences from Loma Linda University; he is currently enrolled in a masters program in educational administration at California State University, Dominguez Hills. Mr. Taylor has taught for seven years in the Los Angeles Unified School District, including one summer at San Pedro High School and then at Jordan High School. In 1987 he was honored as an Outstanding Young Man of America and received the County of Los Angeles Award for Community Service and the City of Los Angeles, Mayor’s Award for Community Service. He has carried out research in the Department of Microbiology at Loma Linda University and at the Peptide Synthesis Facility, UCLA, as an IISME Fellow through the Los Angeles Educational Partnership. He has received a Scope, Sequence and Coordination Grant from the State of California (1990) and a Toshiba Foundation grant for High Technology in the Classroom (1991); he is currently writing a textbook.
In an essay on the The Nature and Experience of Teaching, Mr. Taylor writes: “I teach kids. Sometimes I teach them how to discipline their younger siblings in a way that will give them some quiet time to study. Sometimes I help them talk with their parents so that they can show their parents that they are responsible enough to attend the senior prom. Sometimes I can show them how soap works or why roller blades work differently than roller skates. And on rare occasions, I can show them how the doping of silicon makes it a better semiconductor or how the shape of polypeptide coatings on viruses affects immune response. Because I love my kids, I teach them how to deal with life and then I can show them how science works in their lives.” Mr. Taylor recognizes that not all of his students will be chemistry majors and not all will be college graduates, but he wants to make science accessible to all and for all to learn to contribute positively to life on this planet. “The wonderful part of science is that you can only fail if you don’t try. Science, by its very nature, is a field which rewards inquiry and experimentation….Mastery of the information of science is a byproduct (albeit an important byproduct) of the student’s inquiry.” Mr. Taylor concludes in his essay: “I want so much for my students that I give them the greatest part of me and in the end, I get it back. And that is what rewards me in teaching.”
It is a pleasure to recognize Robert William Taylor for his many contributions and for his dedication to the teaching of chemistry.