Inspiring students' passion for the natural world and helping them learn about how it works is where my passion lies as an educator.
I believe all students have their individual learning styles and I try to incorporate many different types within my teaching style. I have taught in a flipped classroom, I have introduced and used the Socratic seminar style, as well as inquiry-based and project-based learning, and the more traditional styled lectures. As a student I always found inquiry-based lessons to be my favorite way of learning, and as a scientist, it's the only way to learn. Standing in a monsoon in Chile will make you realize just how far you're willing to go to get the answer to a question. This is one of the reasons I love being exposed to different educational philosophies as it allows me to expand my teaching skills to include methods that better suit the children that do not respond to traditional formats.
I also believe in interdisciplinary and co-teaching with other subjects to offer a well-rounded picture on a topic. I believe that offering students an interdisciplinary science class allows them to feel comfortable asking questions and often discussing complex ideas. I think it also provides students the opportunity to learn about how scientists carry out experiments and research and how people who are not scientists use science in their own everyday lives.
I also believe in incorporating technology where it is appropriate and where it can help students. I have used research technology like the OCEARCH satellite tracking website to teach migration and conservation issues. I use Keynote and Powerpoint to create interactive review games to help students prepare for quizzes and tests. I've used Google Earth to conduct labs focusing on biomes and undersea exploration. I have used online systems like Canvas, Blackbaud, Google Classroom, and more to post notes from classes and resource materials that students might find helpful for assignments projects. I've taught in classrooms with one to one iPads and computers and have also incorporated those devices whether it be project based or learning to take notes on them. I've also used the Ocean 180 Video Challenge as a way to get my students interested in the material and to interact with scientists through virtual assemblies. I try to provide my students' as many opportunities to interact with scientists and real-world professionals within in the classroom using technology, often recognizing they may not have chances outside of it.
Overall, I view teaching as I do writing a scholarly paper, like an hourglass. You introduce a vast topic, narrowing it down to point or thesis, explaining the argument in great detail (with citations and your experiments to back it up) and then expanding back out to make connections across disciplines, discussing the importance of the idea or scientific topic.
I define a successful education as one that encompasses all disciplines and teaches respect, honesty, and integrity for one's work. I also emphasize effort, on taking a risk in the classroom and trying something new. I want my students to be able to explain why they are right, not just give me the answer that's in the book. I also want them to have the thrill of discovery and enjoy the learning as much as I may enjoy the teaching.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Medical University of South Carolina - Bachelor in Arts, History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
Graduate Degree: Columbia University in the City of New York - Master of Arts, Museum Studies
Writing, Reading, Oceanographic Research, Science Literacy, Conservation, Ecology, citizen science,
College Application Essays
Elementary School Science
High School Biology
High School Chemistry
High School Geography
High School Level American History
High School World History
Middle School Science