Meet Me on Planet 3
Founder & Educational Consultant
Hello! I'm Deanna, an experienced science educator, parent, and environmental advocate. Meet Me on Planet 3 is an education consulting company focused on high quality science instruction as well as helping PreK-12 educators incorporate sustainability and
Meet Me on Planet 3
Founder & Educational Consultant
Hello! I'm Deanna, an experienced science educator, parent, and environmental advocate. Meet Me on Planet 3 is an education consulting company focused on high quality science instruction as well as helping PreK-12 educators incorporate sustainability and climate change into curriculum & instruction. There are so many materials out there, it can feel overwhelming to sift through everything, locate what matches your curricular needs, and figure out how to make it accessible and engaging for your students. Let me do it for you! I would be thrilled to share my expertise and work with you to create meaningful and exciting lessons that inspire young people to be scientists and active guardians of our planet. Meet Me on Planet 3 also offers workshops and instructional coaching. For more information, visit the Education Consulting page.
I am also the author of the Meet Me on Planet 3 blog and host of the podcast by the same name. Planet Earth is the 3rd planet from the Sun and a very important place that we need to take special care of. Meet Me on Planet 3, where I will feature simple and creative projects that children, families, and educators are doing to protect and preserve our amazing planet Earth! Want to Meet Me on Planet 3 with your own Earth project? Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Heart disease, genetically modified food, the endangered right whale, destruction of forests, the plastic plague, COVID-19... these examples from the world today have a profound impact on young people’s lives. While these are only a few of the reasons that learning about science in school is crucial, they help to illuminate why I am so passionate about science education.
As a science teacher, I prefer to allow students to develop their own hypotheses and design their own experiments so that their work is more meaningful. This inquiry-based learning gives students control over the questions being asked and allows them to explore their natural curiosities and creativity. For example, a Kindergarten Natural Resources Unit that I created utilizes an inquiry- and project-based model in which students design a product from recycled items and explain to an audience why their product is better for the environment than purchasing a new one. I feel much the same about instructional coaching and educational leadership. Research shows that teachers benefit most from professional development when they are collaborators in its construction.
It is my belief that students are more engaged and can learn more effectively when they see a link between what they do in the classroom and what scientists do in the real world. For this reason, I have written and received grants to develop curricula pertaining to work with various scientists at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo, EarthWatch Institute’s Bahamas Marine Mammals Survey, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Another important aspect of my educational philosophy is that, while learning certain facts in a formal classroom environment is important, it cannot replace the seeing and doing. I was part of a team of teachers that took a group of high school students to Costa Rica as the climax of a yearlong interdisciplinary study of the country. I was fortunate to be the science teacher involved in designing the curriculum, which also consisted of social studies and Spanish. Costa Rica was a living classroom full of information that we could not have learned in a science textbook, a pamphlet on Costa Rican flora and fauna, or even a college course about Costa Rican ecology.
Finally, I believe it is essential to teach science in a culturally responsive manner. To borrow some language from one school that I worked with, "Know yourself, know your students, and know your practice." Understanding one's own racial identity and doing the work to uncover one's own biases is the first tier. The second tier involves investing time to truly know who your students are, their backgrounds and lived experiences. And the third tier emphasizes the importance of developing antiracist and anti-biased lessons. Each and every student should feel seen and heard. They all should be able to see themselves in the curriculum and be able to access the material. Furthermore, in addition to videos and guest scientists who represent various racial and ethnic groups, it also is important for students to interact with successful older science students of color who can serve as role models.
I am an aspiring antiracist not only in teaching but also in parenting. Joining the FORJ (Families Organizing for Racial Justice) leadership team at my children's school has helped me become better educated about racial injustice and more comfortable planning for and facilitating difficult conversations about race and equity. Our school chapter of FORJ works in partnership with school staff to "build a community where all students, staff, and families feel welcome, valued and included." We also work together to "advocate for policies and practices that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion."