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I am a long-time classroom teacher--licensed in Massachusetts and Rhode Island--but prefer the give-and-take and personalization possible in small-group and individual instruction. Although my Bachelors and Masters degrees are in a biological science, I have considerable experience teaching physical science, earth science and astronomy as well. More than any individual subject, I consider myself a student of natural history. I am accustomed to preparing students for standardized tests, but my greatest wish is that my students come away with a good grasp of science as an endeavor, and a better understanding of the way the natural world works.
I taught junior high school earth and space science for a number of years, and high school astronomy for one year. My background includes an undergraduate astronomy course and personal interest related to my teaching and personal curiosity. My interests include the history of the science: how did our views of the heavens change as new technologies and new ways of thinking penetrated society? How did individuals like Galileo and Newton influence our worldview?
Biology--the study of life--is perhaps the most integrated of the basic sciences. It depends fundementally on physics and chemistry, but has features such as evolution that go beyond physical and chemical laws.
I love the big questions in biology, such as how the first living things arose, how we became human, how loss of some critical species can disrupt an ecosystem, and so forth--but I also value hands-on local natural history: what is that bird at my feeder? What kind of tree is that? How has my childhood play place gone from grassy field to forest? Most of us spend much too much time indoors for our own good.
My undergraduate and graduate degrees are both in botany. I have never had the opportunity to teach botany in any serious way, but I would welcome the opportunity to put my knowledge to use.
I've never taught chemistry in school though I am licensed to do so, but use it commonly as an important component of biology. To a very large degree, every organism is an insanely complex web of chemical systems.
Ecology--the study of the interactions among organisms and between organisms and their non-living environment--is an abiding interest of mine, as well as the single most important science for our survival as a civilization and a species. It is crucial to our future that every one of us be informed about the state of the biological systems on which depend for our very lives, and the effects our lifestyles and decisions have on them.
I am a science teacher rather than a math teacher, but one of my hobbies is building sailboats and kayaks. Geometry is therefore of practical importance to me because it determines both the shape of what I build, and also in part its strength. Furthermore, geometry is a big part of navigating my boats safely from place to place.
Physical Science--embracing both physics and chemistry--shows us the fascinating ways that our world works. Much of the pleasure I get from my science knowledge comes in following the flow of energy as a cumulus cloud on a warm, humid day builds into a thunderhead that converts its energy into punishing winds and dramatic lightning, or as a chimney swift instinctively balances the energy it expends in flying with the energy it gets from catching insects on the wing. I taught freshman-level high school physics for six years. Combined with chemistry of metabolism, genetics and the like, these sciences undergird biology.
I am a science teacher licensed to teach high school biology and chemistry. I love physics for the way it explains much of what I see on a daily basis, and serves as a foundation for chemistry and biology. I have taught freshman-level physics, but I am not up to calculus.
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