School: Los Osos Middle
District: San Luis Coastal Unified School District
County: San Luis Obispo County
Region: Central California
Grade: Middle School, High School
Award Year: 2006
I suspect that very few really good teachers ever stop teaching. It is just too much fun! I stopped teaching for money in 2013. Within months I was using a fresh cow heart to explain how a heart works in a tiny rural school in Guatemala. The next day we studied how eyes work while doing eyeball dissections. In Africa I reviewed a giraffe skull with a group of kids.
As we travel, I can’t help but share my excitement viewing the 5000-year-old body of the Ice Man, the Burgess Shale in Canada, and the significance of the high water table in Louisiana. Natural selection explains why herds of horses in Mongolia stay together even without fences: the herdsmen eat those who wander off!
I have led countless tide pool walks here in central California, but I’m too clumsy to do that anymore. Instead I am a docent and a docent trainer for the elephant seal rookery on the bluffs in San Simeon. I do PowerPoints on the seals and great white sharks for the Morro Bay Natural History Museum, in classrooms, libraries, etc. I teach school groups at the museum, mostly about marine mammals, but my live tarántula and insect collections are also well received. Life is good, and teaching keeps it all in focus.