My journey as a teacher began as an undergraduate student at North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND in the last century. After student teaching in a suburb of my hometown Minneapolis, MN, and receiving my B.A. in Biological Sciences and Secondary Education, with a minor in Chemistry, I took a detour into research. I worked as lab technician at Johns Hopkins University Asthma and Allergy Center before attending graduate school in Immunology at the University of Chicago. With Ph.D. in hand, I started post-doctoral research at Boston University and then Wake Forest University in the new century. Then, in 2006, I left research, to fulfill a dream that started at NDSU. I began teaching high school science in Winston-Salem. In 2011, I joined the staff at Atkins Academic and Technology High School.Why would a research scientist leave the lab to go back to high school? Because I love to learn and teaching is a great way to keep learning. I am interested in all kinds of science, not just immunology. I love working with people, making connections with individuals. And most of all, I want students to benefit from learning and education like I have. I love to see the flash of discovery in a student's eye, to have discussions about ideas and data. I challenge my students to think, a skill that will benefit anyone, no matter what she or he does in life.Fun Stuff: My husband and I have two adorable cats and seven goldfish; quilting, gardening and composting are my hobbies. I love to workout at the Y. I wish I had more time to read good books. I love to cook with fresh foods that have not traveled very far--I try not to eat food out of a wrapper (but sometimes I do); Project Runway is my guilty pleasure. I love to go home to Minnesota (especially in the winter) to visit my family.My ClassroomLessons in my classroom require students to think. My teaching style is student-centered, inquiry- and data-driven, and class discussion-based. Student notebooks are an essential study tool. Every student must take responsibility for his or her learning. The following sections outline the expectations
The Role of the Student
· Learning is the student’s responsibility and teaching does not necessarily translate into learning.
· Students work cooperatively to solve problems.
· Students are not empty receptacles, but active inquirers.
· Students do not rely on textbooks and teachers for their learning; instead they construct or build knowledge from their experiences.
· The student speaks and listens to all students and the teacher with respect.
The Role of the Teacher
· The teacher will prepare situations through which students can learn.
· The teacher is a mentor.
· The teacher is no longer “supplier” of knowledge, but the facilitator of or guide for student learning.
· The teacher speaks and listens to all students with respect.
The Role of Questioning
· The teacher may ask questions when students know the answer.
· The teacher may ask “Why?” multiple times in a row.
· The teacher may ask students to explain and justify a conclusion based on evidence.
· Questioning an idea does not mean that it is wrong.
· Students need to ask questions when they do not understand.
· There is no such thing as a stupid question.
· The only poor question is one that is not asked.Please visit syllabus links on course pages for more details about individual courses. I am looking forward to a great school year.