Hello from a Southern Science Teacher
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01-07-2013, 12:19 PM
RE: Hello from a Southern Science Teacher
(29-06-2013 02:01 PM)Chance Wrote:  I just wanted to take a second to introduce myself. I am a public high school biology teacher in the southern US (fun times!). I have been an atheist and freethinker since at least late elementary school when I wanted to do a science fair project on human evolution and couldn't understand why my teachers dissuaded me from me. I officially came out as an atheist to my friends during middle school and endured that hell, went to a local university, got my teaching degree and certification, and have made a vow to never let the same crap that happened to me happen to any of my students if I could possibly help it. Just this past year I had a student who had recently figured out she was an atheist and I counseled her about it. Interestingly, her mother was grateful for my support until she realized that I myself was an atheist and I wasn't trying to shame her daughter into believing the way she wanted her to. I've also helped students who didn't want to stand and say the Pledge of Allegience (I also choose not to do this, specifically because of the "under god" portion), and I've helped convince a local band director that no, he could not block a student from auditioning for the color guard simply because he's gay. I am about to begin my 6th year of teaching and I am absolutely convinced, teaching is the best career ever - for me. Because I teach biology, and human anatomy and physiology, evolution underlies every single thing I teach. I do periodically have students who have issues learning about evolution, but for most, I am able to gradually break down those mental barriers.

I am also an avid naturalist and animal lover. I spend as much time in nature as I can, I take students hiking to hopefully spark in them a genuine interest in nature, and I keep several 'pets' (if you can call snakes pets) both at home and in my classroom. I make it a personal goal each school year to help as many people get over their ophidiophobia as I can. I also use the animals in the classroom to illustrate the various aspects of evolutionary biology, like selection, coevolution, convergent evolution, etc.

I've recently started listening to The Thinking Atheist podcast after a too-long hiatus. I came back into the fold, so to speak, just too late to attend the Oklahoma Freethought get together and I'm kicking myself big time for that. Never again!

I look forward to interacting with you all and maybe using you guys, if you'll have me, as a venting place for the kinds of religious crap I sometimes have to deal with from my students or their parents.

Hi,

What section of the south ate you hailing from?

"IN THRUST WE TRUST"

"We were conservative Jews and that meant we obeyed God's Commandments until His rules became a royal pain in the ass."

- Joel Chastnoff, The 188th Crybaby Brigade
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01-07-2013, 12:34 PM
RE: Hello from a Southern Science Teacher
Arkansas
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04-07-2013, 06:53 PM
RE: Hello from a Southern Science Teacher
Welcome to TTA.
When i go to America we're going to hike together,ok?

I don't really like going outside.
It's too damn "peopley" out there....
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04-07-2013, 06:56 PM
RE: Hello from a Southern Science Teacher
If you make it to Arkansas the sure thing!
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05-07-2013, 04:24 AM
RE: Hello from a Southern Science Teacher
A far cry from my High School Biology teacher (in the south). He regularly warned "I can't say I personally believe this but they make me say that....". He also once commented that "I know there is a God because if the earth was one degree in either direction we would either burn or freeze." I don't exactly know what he was referring to, but by "degree" I would think he was confusing the axis with distance from the sun, but either way I pointed out that if it were always so then creatures could have evolved to thrive in those conditions. I then also pointed out if the earth changed slowly enough then even we would evolve. He was shocked, and amazed, gaping mouth he said "I had never even considered that." What?! How are you allowed to teach SCIENCE!? Laugh out load Sorry for the story, you just made me think of it. Anyhow, welcome.

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05-07-2013, 05:18 AM
RE: Hello from a Southern Science Teacher
(05-07-2013 04:24 AM)Dark Light Wrote:  A far cry from my High School Biology teacher (in the south). He regularly warned "I can't say I personally believe this but they make me say that....". He also once commented that "I know there is a God because if the earth was one degree in either direction we would either burn or freeze." I don't exactly know what he was referring to, but by "degree" I would think he was confusing the axis with distance from the sun, but either way I pointed out that if it were always so then creatures could have evolved to thrive in those conditions. I then also pointed out if the earth changed slowly enough then even we would evolve. He was shocked, and amazed, gaping mouth he said "I had never even considered that." What?! How are you allowed to teach SCIENCE!? Laugh out load Sorry for the story, you just made me think of it. Anyhow, welcome.

I'd do my usual thing and tell America "to get it's shit straight!" but my biology teacher actually said something similar when my class came to genetic mutations and evolution. "Personally, I don't believe this, but it's in the curriculum, so I'll teach it." Too his credit, that's all he said.

The people closely associated with the namesake of female canines are suffering from a nondescript form of lunacy.
"Anti-environmentalism is like standing in front of a forest and going 'quick kill them they're coming right for us!'" - Jake Farr-Wharton, The Imaginary Friend Show.
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05-07-2013, 09:28 AM
RE: Hello from a Southern Science Teacher
I really hate hearing about biology teachers saying that crap. Such a copout "I have to teach it because so-and-so is making me." Here in Arkansas, I don't remember the exact percentage but there is a scary number of teachers either not teaching evolution or teaching creationism in place of it. I'm happy to say that right here where I am, I know of at least two other freethinker biology teachers who teach real science to their students. I'm sure there are many others who don't, but at least there are a few of us!
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05-07-2013, 11:20 AM
RE: Hello from a Southern Science Teacher
@chance
i sure hope to.
Before this schoolyear ends,i will gather info about scholarships in america that could aply to me.

I don't really like going outside.
It's too damn "peopley" out there....
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