From the President

By Moore, John | The American Biology Teacher, August 2009 | Go to article overview

From the President


Moore, John, The American Biology Teacher


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August has arrived and for many of us, the new school year begins. We have only a few days or weeks until we will be back in the classroom with a new group of students or some returning ones. Over the summer I have had the opportunity to grade AP Biology exams along with 500 other biologists and educators in Kansas City. We had the opportunity to hear Sean Carroll speak (he will be one of NABT's keynote speakers in Denver in November) on our Professional Development Night. However, the best part of AP grading was the interaction between the university and secondary biology educators. Discussions on new developments and discoveries in the biological sciences and the innovative ways to teach biology made this time such a valuable experience. Stories of so many students succeeding in biology at the secondary and post-secondary levels were shared and were very inspiring. As an educator of the biological sciences, who taught for 20 years at the secondary level, and now 17 years at the university level, I can only say that I am energized to begin the next year.

Biology educators, we do significant work with these students. Yes, many of the students we teach do not have a passion for biology as we do and do not give as much effort as we know it deserves. Yet, it is many of those same disengaged students who have come back, long after my time with them, and thanked me for striving to teach them and caring for them as students. Other students worked hard for us in class and succeeded academically. Often I hear how they were influenced by the teaching we give. And for some, we as educators were the ones who inspired them to go into the biological sciences as an area of study, a profession, and (for some) even a passion.

As our new year begins, let's remember that we play an important role in the lives of so many young people. We have such a vital responsibility: to provide them with the best education we can. There is essential content to be learned this year. There are critical processing skills in which to be trained. …

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