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GrowNextGen teacher leader

Cati Riddell

Biology teacher at Fairfield High School

Cati is willing to be contacted about biology, environmental science, biotechnology, genetics, agriculture, and 4-H. She’s interested in collaborating on the topics of biology, biotechnology, and genetics.

What about teaching excites you?
I love the promise of a better future that teaching provides. I love seeing the kid who believes no one cares smile, or the kid who is defeated finally get a hard concept and their face light up in pride. I absolutely hated school growing up and teaching gives me the opportunity to try and improve it. I truly believe that education is the only path out of your current situation, and I feel blessed to be able to participate in that journey for so many kids.

What was your “aha” moment when you realized the value of using agriculture as a vehicle to teach science?
Most of my career I have taught in urban schools. I noticed when students asked me about my life outside of school and I told them stories about my farm, they would light up and be so interested. I then started incorporating examples from my own farm into my content as examples. I saw the value of providing real life examples to increase retention of material. I also noticed it unlocked a whole new world for my students who may never have experienced agricultural concepts before.

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