I have found a community where people are valued for their individuality... teachers are supported to collaboratively design energetic, creative, and innovative lessons...parents and community members provide resources for all to succeed.
My career at Whitewater Middle School began 24 years ago when I was hired as an 8th grade math teacher. It is with pride that I now use my math experience to teach science.
My formal training began at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where I completed a degree in secondary education with an emphasis in broadfield natural science and chemistry. I later returned to obtain an elementary teaching certification. My informal training began much earlier with teachers and parents who encouraged my interest and enthusiasm for science, allowing me to "experiment" in the kitchen, the garage, and elsewhere--usually involving big messes or loud noises. They stopped short of allowing me to use younger siblings as test subjects.
Six summers ago I attended a Project Lead The Way (PLTW) training session so that we can offer pre-engineering classes to interested 8th graders. Some of the curriculum will be integrated into general science classes. Students can further that interest in high school.
I spent my summer revisiting "tricky" science content about organisms and systems thinking at two teacher academies, one in Oakland, California and the other in Madison. My family did not travel with me this summer. We spent our time on shorter trips around the state and preparing our oldest daughter for her freshman year of college.
During the school year we will question, construct, read, play, write, hypothesize, discuss, and make "big messes". This year in science we will emphasize Common Core math and literacy concepts. We will apply engineering principles to each unit of study. Students will be introduced to Systems Thinking principles as we make connections between learning in multiple content areas. I look forward to igniting in students a fascination for science.
"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing."