School: Genoa-Kingston Middle School
Grade: 7th Grade
Subject: Life Science
Number of years teaching: 15 years
Farm Bureau/Ag Literacy connection: I am the Ag Literacy Ambassador for my school. My family has been a part of Farm Bureau forever, and I was a recipient of a Farm Bureau scholarship way back in the day.
What is your favorite unit to teach? I’m lucky enough to teach my favorite topic all year long – Biology! I love all the units.
What do you enjoy most about teaching? I love seeing students’ passion for science grow throughout the year. Seventh graders always have fun and interesting questions and boy do they love to talk! I NEVER have a boring day.
What is something unique that you do in your classroom? I feature a new “Microbe of the Week” every Monday which are stuffed animal versions of microscopic organisms. The students look forward to Mondays when I introduce our new “friend” for the week. I even have a stuffed Coronavirus.
Why is it important for students to learn about food and farming? Students need to learn where their food and other products come from, beyond the store. By the time they hit middle school they have so many misconceptions about what agriculture entails; I feel it is my job to get them the correct information.
How do you inspire your students? My goal every year is to help students realize that science can be fun! I do whatever it takes to keep them engaged and entertained during lessons. As a teacher, I am a performer and if I want to keep the attention of 12 and 13 year-old students I have to put on a pretty good show!
Family: Husband, Keith, and two children, Lillian (13) and Samuel (10), as well as two cats, a rabbit, a flock of chickens, and a pet hissing cockroach (no, I’m not kidding).
College/Degree(s): Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Knox College; Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Washington; Master’s Degree in Biological Sciences specializing in Biology Teaching from Northern Illinois University
Hobbies: Reading, riding my bike, nature walks
Books: Non-fiction science books and young adult novels so I know what my students are reading
Food: Everything my husband makes – he’s a great cook!
TV show/movie: “Big Bang Theory”
Travel destination: Any place with beautiful trees