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“My dad kept saying I’d end up with a flat face if I didn’t stop pressing it against the car window.”
Rosa Sanchez
Science teacher | North Grove MS, (FL)

Engaging students for 40 years, Rosa Sanchez snubs her (slightly flattened) nose at the mention of retirement.  She is as passionate today about teaching as she was when she began her career in 1978.

 

Why do you teach geology and earth science?

I’ll never forget, It was our annual family road trip in 1965.  I was out cold from Orlando to Denver but I’ll never forget when my dad said, “Hey kids, wake up, don’t miss this.”   Wow, the Rocky Mountains! I’d never seen anything like that— rocks as far and high and wide as my ten-year-old eyes could see.

Then we crossed the Colorado border into Utah and I could hardly contain myself, one massive rock formation!  I pressed my face against the glass and thought, “How did this happen? Where did this come from? What caused all of this?”

 

 

Then my dad made an insightful comment, “Ro, every one of those rocks tells a story.”  At that point I fell in love with geology and I’ve never been the same since. So the reason I teach Earth Science is simple: I want my students to hear those stories.

 

What are you trying to accomplish with your students?

I create space for curiosity and exploration. Once eighth graders let their guard down—my, oh my—you wouldn’t believe the amazing things they discover!  These kids are not babies, they are our future leaders and they need to learn how to think as such. The secret is very simple, don’t spoon feed them, inspire them to take responsibility for their own learning.

 

How does bulb help you do that?

I live to see those moments when my students lean in to a subject  like I leaned into that car window. Like I mentioned, I create my assignments so that  students begin to drive their own learning. I use bulb digital portfolios as a tool to engage their curiosity as well as a space to capture their progress. bulb portfolios display work beautifully which is an added bonus and a significant motivator because when their work looks beautiful they take pride in what they’ve learned.

 

 

My Volcano lesson, “Vesuvius madness” is a great example.  We all go out into the field using Google Earth and Youtube videos where they see real volcanoes for themselves. We use bulb pages to capture it all, images and videos, as well as their own observations.

 

 

I like to spice things up with labs too. I have students use bulb to keep their lab notes. My bulb lab collections are a hit among my science teacher colleagues. We often share our bulb lesson plans as well as lab collections.

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