Grade(s): 9 / 10 / 11 / 12
I teach physical science, chemistry, physics and 7th grade math at a rural, central Minnesota high school. When I first started teaching (way back in 1996) I wanted to help students become competitive in the science fields and lead productive, fulfilling lives. I have a broader passion to help students build strong foundations in math and science and maybe change the mindset of students who were intimidated by these courses. I believe that 7th grade math is so important because it is a strong foundation for the algebra the must learn next year. Plus, all these concepts are very important fundamentals to succeed in all upper level math classes. I am passionate about teaching all of my subjects well, however chemistry has special meaning to me. In chemistry, I prepare college-bound students who need this subject for their future career. Careers like nursing, teaching, industry, food, agriculture, any medical field and more. My premise is: If students can master chemical concepts in high school then they will succeed in college chemistry, in which college chemistry can be too intimidating that can hinder many from obtaining their dreams. All of the subjects I teach are challenging because they are abstract and difficult. I’m constantly evolving as a teacher to assist in student learning. Sometimes I hear teachers comment, “Why re-invent the wheel” when teachers contemplate different curriculum or strategies. But the truth is... students are changing at "warp" speed. I'm always reinventing or learning many methods and strategies to change with our students and help them learn. I’ll use formative assessments, labs, visual strategies, computer generated simulations, project-based learning activities, tutorials and video clips to help students learn the concepts.
I graduated from Colorado State University with a B.S in Chemistry and Mathematics along with an education certification. My career began in Utah teaching junior high math and high school chemistry. I spent 22 years in the classroom as a science teacher in the Rosemount, Apple Valley, Eagan School District. I have taught physics, AP, honors, general and concept level Chemistry. Currently, I am a Professional Development Specialist working in the School of Education at Capella University. During the summer, I facilitate week long workshops for new and experienced chemistry teachers at Hamline University with Prof. Matt Morgan. As a team, we cover content as well as current best practices in the science classroom including inquiry and digital resources. I am also employed by the College Board as an AP Chemistry Consultant where I facilitate day-long to week-long workshops for classroom teachers. I believe one of the best ways to improve my professional practice is to network with teachers from all over the country and I enjoy the opportunities this provides.