I couldn’t complete the Periodic Table of Super Elements without actually liking science and having the drive to finish something that big. Science to me is special… Not only because I’m a science teacher, but also because I really, truly, disliked it in high school.
I used to love science in grade school/middle school. The planets fascinated me (Mars was my favorite), I was obsessed with fossils so much that I reread a book on them at least 20 times from my grade school library (T-Rex is clearly the best), and I was so interested in how things work that my dad used to buy me “How Things Work” books.
But then came high school biology and chemistry. Biology was disappointing because it was all centered around taking 50-100 question tests and memorizing things from a book. Not quite what I had in mind when I was growing up. Chemistry was literally taking notes every day. We did labs here and there but the teacher was so dry that I just felt like they were chores. (As a side note: Physics was actually pretty fun as a senior)
Now looking back I can say that yes, memorizing things from a book and taking notes is important. But my teachers never explained to me why it was important and they looked like they just hated life. If you are going to make me do something, either explain why it’s important for later in my life or look like you enjoy what you do!
All of this put together made me make science my own passion. I wasn’t going to let that type of thing take away a long standing interest of mine. I still read books and articles (thanks to my parent’s dial up modem) and I still had a passion for it, but it was definitely different than just liking it in school.
Fast forward to College. I was decently good at digital art due to an elective in high school I took senior year, which allowed me to go off campus to a digital art classroom. I decided I wanted to do graphic design. How wrong I was. I found that advertising in that sense to me was extremely un-fulfilling. You mean to tell me I have to COMPETE with other people on how good my designs were?! I can barely take it when my friends look at my drawings. So I dropped that and applied to the college of education to pick up my passion and teach science.
I didn’t want to be like some of the teachers I had in the past. My goal was to make science REAL for my students and I was going to make them appreciate it by showing them how much I loved it.
And so here I am… Teaching 7th grade science at a school I love, trying my best to show them that science is pretty dang neat with a poster I created using my artistic abilities and my love of science!