What about teaching excites you?
I love that every year is different, and the subjects that we cover in my class are always developing as science advances. Getting the chance to be hands-on and an active learner alongside my students sweetens the deal as a teacher and allows more motivated learning to occur. It also allows me to help students pursue their passions and grow as individuals.
What was your “aha” moment when you realized the value of using agriculture as a vehicle to teach science?
Agriculture is tangible to everyone and is a heavily integrated part of our lives, but during my first year of teaching after transitioning away from a career in marine biology, I realized how sectionalized students thought science versus agriculture were. Students saw science as science and agriculture as agriculture, but not as agricultural biosciences. By developing conversations about the “roots of science” and actively participating in labs that demonstrate the multidisciplinary nature of agriculture, students were able to see how applicable these skills were together as well as in their day to day lives.
How do you help students make the industry or real-world connection to what they’re learning?
I want students to be able to use the research skills that we have developed and explore the real world through the lens of their own passions. While my course is very lab heavy, it can only teach students so much about the reality of what “real world” means. I am always eager about having students become involved in out-of-class experiences that truly show them what the industry holds.