While teaching rock climbing to a group of young students, I found myself spending more time describing the environment of deposition that formed the quartzite they were clinging to than encouraging them to climb to the top. At that moment, I understood my future career involved teaching science, and to realize my dream I would have to return to college. So, I quit my job as an experiential educator and moved with my wife Jessika to Flagstaff, Ariz., where I completed a Bachelor of Science in Earth Science Education and a Master of Education in Educational Technology at Northern Arizona University. Following my wife back East, we moved to Morgantown, W.Va., where she is pursuing a doctorate at West Virginia University. I was fortunate to work for several years at The EdVenture Group where I designed and taught professional development opportunities for teachers across the state. During this time I also began working as an adjunct instructor for Fairmont State teaching Geosphere and Exosphere to elementary education majors. In October 2005, I accepted a position at the NASA IV&V Facility Educator Resource Center as a Science and Technology Specialist funded through Fairmont State and overseen by Dr. Deb Hemler. Currently I deliver NASA educational programs to teachers throughout West Virginia.
While teaching at Fairmont State, I have been surprised by the diversity of the students in my courses. Since I was also a non-traditional student, I enjoy learning from students why they have chosen to return to school after working as machinists, nurses or computer technicians. I have had students who are younger than 20 and older than 60, and I have discovered that the reasons for wanting to become a teacher are as varied as their ages.
I am very interested in making learning fun and engaging, and I have found that technology often has the capability to do just that. Students in my courses often cite the diverse methods for presenting material as something they appreciate. From pencil and paper to PowerPoint, I try to vary the deliver methods to keep the material fresh and exciting.