Thanks Earth Science Department of UD, Now It's Time to Student Teach!

This past week, I finished my last ever geology course as an undergrad, and it was bittersweet. Anyone who knows me in person knows that I talk about my major all of the time, and I rave about the department that my major is in. Due to the way that my university does things, it means that my major of Earth Science Education is actually in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, and it is a part of the Earth Science (geology) department at my university. I take more geology classes than education classes because as a secondary education major, they want us becoming essentially experts in our fields before we go and teach it to students. I am going to miss not having a geology class next semester.

UD is a big university. I have easily met at least over 100 people, probably a lot more but like 100 people is still a lot of people. When you are at a big university, it can be hard to find a sense of community there. Luckily for me, I found that within my own academic department. Everyone in that department treats each other like we are family. I mean we all roast each other like we are family. (I get roasted... a lot, but I genuinely love it.)

That community feeling is so unique, rare, and special. It has been a big highlight of my college experience and a reason why I have looked forward to coming back every semester. Not being able to go in the student lounge of my academic building this semester was incredibly hard for me because that building has always felt like my home away from home on campus.

Ever since my first semester of college, I have taken at least one geology class every semester. Some classes were more interesting than others, but even if the class was not the most interesting or easiest class in the world, every professor I’ve had was such an amazing individual. Thus, I would want to work hard in the class because of how much I admired and respected the professor. This past semester, the professor I had for my geology class was actually the professor for my first ever geology class. He is an absolute legend and he is my academic advisor, so it felt like the perfect way to end this chapter of my college experience. Plus, his class was really interesting and fun.

As I prepare to student teach next semester, I will miss meeting with geology students and professors every week. The memories and stories I’ve made with them. I got stuck in quicksand on a geology field trip. I got covered in the mud at a different time because I was trying to get the best measurements for a lab. People went into creeks to get data because that’s what geologists do, and those are memories that nobody could ever replicate. Not only that, but the amount of conversations I have had about rocks over these past few years has been astronomical. I never knew how many conversations one could have about rocks prior to college, and now I know I have only scratched the surface when it comes to these conversations. Geology truly goes in-depth. All of these moments have been a highlight to my college experience. That is why I truly felt a sense of community within that department because who else can you laugh about getting stuck in quicksand together while on a field trip? Who else will admire quartz or amphibole the same way as people in the geology department? NO ONE. That’s what makes us a shining community.

Now it’s time to put everything I’ve learned and find a way to teach it to high schoolers, make it fun for them to learn as I prepare to student teach. That is so exciting and mind-blowing to me. It was the sweet part of my last geology class because it meant that it was time for me to actually starting this amazing subject to high schoolers. Earth science is one of those subjects that I feel doesn’t get enough appreciation when it is something that most of us talk about on a daily basis. Anything related to the weather, the wildfires, earthquakes, the gemstones on the jewelry we wear, and more are all related to earth science. Isn’t that so cool and fascinating? I cannot wait to start sharing my love and passion for science next semester as I finish up my college experience, and I cannot wait until I have my own classroom where I get to do this for potentially the rest of my life.

Next semester is the start to my career, and I cannot wait to see where my career as a teacher takes me.

To the people I’ve met in the geology department, thank you for being a constant highlight in my college experience. I know I am not the only one who feels this way too. :)

Kathryn DeBois

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