I like the act of teaching. Demonstrating how to do something correctly to someone who is interested or explaining a concept to a learner who inquired allows me to talk about a topic I'm knowledgeable about. The fact that I also have taken the time to become knowledgeable about the topic means I'm interested in it, as well, so: win-win.
The best part of teaching isn't the actual instructing, though. For me, it's creating the learning activities. The creating process is fun and the opportunity to read in more detail about lichens, fig wasps, the palisade layer of cells, or whatever else the activity is about, is quite fascinating.
I hadn't consciously realized this about myself until I was well into adulthood. When I was in school, I liked art class and was very entertained with school projects. As a newbie grown-up I didn't jump for joy when I needed to clean the bathroom or wash my car, but I definitely fanned my arm slowly, Vanna White style, over my job-well-done to show any nearby onlookers.
It wasn't until I put together a push lawnmower I bought at the Home Depot that I realized that the feeling of accomplishment that comes from either creating or improving a tangible thing is grand!
Most of the classroom materials I use, like presentations, note packets, and labs, are improvements I made on materials found online or shared by other teachers. Some of my instructional items are entirely my own creation......But I have learned that nothing is truly original. In the words of Mark Twain, “There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope.” Or put more succinctly by German author Helene Hegemann, "There’s no such thing as originality, just authenticity."
You can find the AUTHENTIC materials I use in my classroom here. Most are Word Documents which you can modify for use with your students to make YOUR OWN AUTHENTIC LESSONS.
The current lesson I'm developing uses the Carolina Animal Kingdoms (II) set. Rather than use it in my Classification Unit, I was thinking of having students examine the insect's legs for adaptations to their habitats and use it in my Evolution Unit. As soon as its ready I’ll add a link.
And Here it is: INSECT LEG ADAPTATIONS LAB (12/18/19)
Gertrude Katz has spent over 30 years teaching K-12 public school students all major subjects. She has taught biology and education at the college level. The majority of her career has been spent instructing biology at the secondary level.