My fabulous colleague Jon Gray teaches 6th grade science and AP Environmental science. Although it would be fun to comment on what has to be a day of multiple personalities, that's not what I wanted to talk about.
I stepped out of my building to find him being trailed by a gaggle of 6th grade goslings, his six foot frame towering over them. Jonathan loves to encourage students and adults alike to see the world, to explore the wonders in our beautiful Florida habitat. He stopped to show me what they had found, a mole cricket.
I know that insects are large and fierce in our temperate zone, but I still like to look at them and wonder at their beauty and complexity. I'm also the resident cockroach squasher, so there are limits to my interest. According to our 6th graders, stereotypes about my curiosity remain. As I marveled at the cricket's amazing earth moving claws and sturdy jumper legs, the student cradling it in her sweatshirt asked me, "Are you a science teacher?"