I have been at Rockhurst since 1999 and am the Chair of the Science Department. I spent the last 16 years teaching Chemistry and this year I am teaching the newly developed Earth Science course. During my time at Rockhurst I have coached baseball and swimming, assisted with the Faber Leadership Program, helped with numerous retreats and service trips, and am involved with the Astronomy Club, Zoology Club, Robotics Club, and Science Club.
I believe that all students can learn any concept and learning is experienced in an individual way. It is the teacher’s obligation not to be the expert of content, but to work side by side with the student to discover the most effective methods of learning.
It is my belief that all academic endeavours have to begin with inspiration, which develops into a passion. Inspiration is ignited through experience, then that experience leads to questions. The production of these questions are the key to the student’s science education.
Above all, I believe in the excitement and wonder of all sciences!
My dream classroom would be an effective learning environment that inspired students to “do more” through demonstrations, laboratory experiments, students building and designing, and collaboration. The “active workspace” would have desks designed in groups for collaboration located next to full lab stations. The latest technology would be utilized by the students around the workspace, enhancing their understanding. An area within the workspace would be designated for student-led and teacher-led scientific demonstrations along with a section for the student observation. A key component to the active workspace would be a separate area would be designated for ongoing student research complete with the necessary laboratory equipment.
The foundation of my dream workspace would be that all aspects of it would be created for the students to use, collaborate with, build around, and learn from.
My goal is to put science in the hands of our students…to show them the world around them by having them “do” science rather than listen to how it works. I want to see students excited about their science courses, students who are encouraged to passionately pursue science at the next level. Ultimately I wish to see students who personally pursue science through their own initiative, who seek answers to science questions they are curious about, and who find joy in the natural world surrounding them.