• About Me
    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 Classroom
    Lessons 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.