My mother swears I was born with a question on my lips, lots of questions, actually. From the moment I arrived, I have never stopped exploring the world around me. I have to know how something works, why it works, and what happens if . . . I still remember my first “formal” teacher and the exact moment when letters on a page turned into words in my head! That thrilling moment is forever burned into my heart as one of life's defining moments.
Clearly, my passion for learning began early, and I wouldn't have it any other way. When people are passionate about something, they want to, and do, share it with everyone. Thus, I am a teacher, and the whole world around me is my classroom.
A great teacher ignites within her students a passion for learning that serves them for a lifetime. She develops content area expertise and coaxes and nurtures students' interests without clubbing them over the head with that expertise. She builds strong relationships with her students, their families, her peers, and her community. She works diligently to keep learning “relevant” in the lives of those she teaches. Above all else, she challenges herself every day to inspire her students to achieve great things.
To meet these lofty goals, I use every tool in my arsenal. I teach in the most entertaining, hands-on manner I know so that I can reach students at their level when they enter my class and then I strive to lead them to the next, higher level of learning. This takes both tremendous preparation and relentless pursuit of materials for my classroom. I provide students with a safe, supportive environment, without fear of ridicule, by maintaining classroom behavior and modeling expectations so that they have a high comfort level and are willing to take risks. I work hard to make my students an active part of the learning process by engaging them with magic tricks (if necessary), technology (when possible), enthusiasm (always), and love (unconditionally).
Ultimately, I want my students to develop the skills they need to pursue their hopes and dreams outside of my classroom. I nudge my students towards self-sufficiency with every assignment, lab, activity, or assessment, with as much effort as it takes. I could not possibly do any of that if I did not develop positive, loving, working relationships with my students and the families that care for them.
I want my students to challenge themselves and develop a love of learning. I do what I do because it matters to me that they can solve problems, not only in my science classes, but also in every day life. Even if science isn't their favorite subject, teaching them to develop their critical thinking skills in order to solve problems is the most important thing I can do.
Why I Do What I Do...