The kind of teacher I want to be
October 28, 2009
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I spoke with Dr. B yesterday…I have another grant to apply for (by Friday, eek!) It looks like I’ll be spending 6-8 weeks in the Place of Moving Water this summer, setting up field studies and also spending a fair bit of time liasing with the local people, and working on training/education opportunities for students there.
This is a really, really cool (and rare) opportunity; not only will I be engaging in buggy, geeky goodness in an extremely new type of environment (for me), I’ll also get a chance to immerse myself in the socio-ecological context of my project AND pad my training/teaching resume a bit.
Teaching is just as important to me as the research itself: I love it. There are few things more rewarding than making students care about something seemingly mundane…being able to help them see and appreciate the extreme awesomeness of nature, and being able to actually connect with students on that point…to send out enthusiasm and excitement about a topic, and receive it right back. To make them want to come back for more.
When I worked at The Large Nature Museum, there were a few times where I had a person or a family trail me litterally all afternoon, simply because they got hooked on what I was telling them and they wanted MORE. (And boy oh boy in a room full of dinosaurs and with the mouth on me I can keep an audience busy for HOURS if they’re willing.)
I’ve had the privilege of being taught by a few amazing teachers…people whose enthusiasm for their subject matter was positively infectuous. One in particular…I always swore that the man could be talking about pocket lint and I’d be positively enthralled. THAT’s the kind of teacher I want to be.
I really hope that I can live up to that and inspire some young people this summer.