GrowNextGen teacher leader

Chris Brown

7th and 8th grade science teacher at Glandorf Elementary School

Chris knows a lot about: rural education, science, current events

What about teaching excites you?
I love the opportunity to help students learn to think for themselves—teaching them how to ask questions, determine the validity of sources, analyze data, solve problems, etc. It’s great to see a student finally have a breakthrough on a problem they were stuck on or get a prototype finally working after days of trial and error.

What was your “aha” moment when you realized the value of using agriculture as a vehicle to teach science?
When I changed from teaching in an urban district to a rural district and started teaching about climate change— as soon as I addressed the effects that it can have on crops/farms/farmers, a large percentage of my students were immediately engaged for the entirety of the unit because so many of their families rely on agriculture for their livelihood.

How do you help students make the industry or real-world connection to what they’re learning?
I take the opportunity to integrate current events into my classroom as much as possible, even if this means going back to a topic we already covered. This gives students a chance to see that what we’re learning matters and is applicable to the real world, as well as learning about potential career paths they might take to continue to study a certain topic or solve a certain problem.