Thank you for taking the time to visit my little corner of the internet! I’m a kindergarten teacher in a public school in the midwest, and I’m passionate about bringing more nature and science literacy into elementary classrooms. Like many teachers, I struggle to incorporate the daily demands of a rigorous curriculum while still maintaining a sacred space of joy and wonder where every child can bloom. In my ten years of teaching, I’ve slowly gathered resources and connections that help me keep curiosity and joy at the center of my classroom. I hope to share many of those resources in this space. Feel free to read, use and offer ideas for your classroom as well!
I currently hold a Master’s in Curriculum & Instruction with a Reading Specialist license focused on science literacy, as well as a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education & Psychology. I also work as a part-time naturalist at the local nature center, and as a science reviewer for EdReports.
It’s somewhat surprising that one of my biggest passions has become nature and science education. Growing up, I was what you would call an “indoor kid.” The likeliest place to find me would be curled up in bed with a book – even on sunny days, my parents had to urge me to go play outside. I was fascinated by animals and nature, but in a purely cerebral way – I preferred to read about trees and wolves, rather than experience them in the real world. And in high school, I avoided science classes like the plague. The few that I was required to take I found to be mind-numbingly boring, filled with analyzing periodic tables and memorizing dry facts. At the same time, I was drawn to the environmental movement and had notebooks filled with ways to “save the whales” and reduce landfills.
It wasn’t until college that I truly engaged with my sense of wonder about the earth, that same sense that I hope to instill in students today. Two experiences shaped my nascent love of science and nature: An inspirational science methods instructor showed me that teaching about science can be deep, fulfilling work that connects with children’s curiosities about the world. And a volunteer trip to Costa Rica ignited my passion for environmental activism in my personal and professional life.
Before teaching kindergarten, I had several non-traditional teaching jobs, including as an environmental educator, a farm-to-school teacher, and a school garden coordinator. In fact, I still work as an environmental educator at a nature center in the summers! Whenever possible, I try to give my students meaningful learning experiences in science and nature by connecting them to the rest of the school curriculum. I believe that classroom teachers, who spend nearly 40 hours a week with their students, can make the biggest impact on children’s knowledge and connection to the earth.
P.S. I have a life list that I’ve been keeping for a while now, with 100 things to do in my lifetime.