2006 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching
Each year the President of the U.S. recognizes outstanding K-12 science
and math teachers throughout the country. One math and one science
educator is chosen from each state who exemplifies deep content
knowledge combined with the ability to motivate students in science and
Joey Rider’s Forensic Farm Investigation unit is a student favorite. “Students learn about integrated pest management by investigating invasive weeds, powdery mildew, and a variety of destructive insects from a field of crops. Afterward, they conduct a series of Web-quest and hands-on investigations and then learn how they can prevent or get rid of pests without harming plants or the environment,” she said. Rider uses assessments before, during, and after instruction because she said it is critical to know where students are in their understanding of a concept at all times so that she knows where they need to go.
My curriculum is designed to be both challenging and flexible. I plan multiple representations of the material with a variety of resources, different means for students to interact with the material and content, multiple levels of complexity, and several ways to engage student interest in what I am teaching. Probably the most important part of my teaching style is that I consider myself a ‘green teacher.’ I do not mean that I am new, I mean that I care about the environment and instill this in my students by embedding environmental education into everything I do.