Who Am I?
I am a teacher.
Although the environment that I teach in is unfamiliar to most people, what I do is easy to understand. I teach.
• I teach science classes with labs, models, and case studies. Students learn to design experiments, analyze data, and think critically.
• I teach positive classroom behavior. Students learn to work together, give and accept constructive criticism, and express themselves with kindness.
• I teach study skills and work habits. Students learn to draw connections between the amount of care, concentration, and time they put into their learning and their end results. They also learn to use their time and energy efficiently.
I don’t (currently) teach in a school. As a homeschool instructor, I teach groups in many different locations. Sometimes classes are in a home. Sometimes they are at Different Directions, a homeschool collective. The most unusual location I ever held a class in was in a convent.
My classes are filled with experiments, analysis, and discussion. I engineer lessons that cause my students to squeal with excitement and frown with concentration. I want my students to feel the magic and joy of scientific discovery, to understand the challenges of research, and to appreciate the complexity of the natural world.
Conducting experiments and building models are absolutely integral to my classes. I can’t imagine teaching science without lots of stuff and occasional messes.
What Are My Classes Like?
My science classes are hands-on and inquiry-based. There is a great deal of collaborative teamwork. Getting students excited about science is easy – experiments are inherently interesting! I work hard to ensure that all of my students are intellectually challenged but none feel overwhelmed.
A typical class revolves around either an experiment or a hands-on model. Occasionally I’ll feature a paper-based case study or paper model. The main activity is always supported by a class discussion and often supported by an in-class reading and/or group note-writing.