I've come to understand that teaching the curriculum and topics is important, but connecting those topics to the students' real-life experiences becomes vital. Teaching with a focus on the environment helps me connect a number of science skills and practices with some of those big ideas. We explore real data, analyze climate models, and investigate future scenarios. We examine the issues with a local, regional, and global lens, building more connections between their immediate circumstances with the world at large — and maybe between their present and future selves. This in turn helps the students better understand the drivers, consequences, and possible solutions related to climate change, as well as identify the misinformation that surrounds the topic. All of these are key for those who will lead us out of the current reality and into a sustainable future.
And that is the goal. My students will grow up someday, and I want to help them discover how to be good problem-solvers and decision makers. I hope they will be inspired to build off the connections we make in class. Any future scenario that sees us reducing the climate crisis will rely on this generation of students to drive that change. I hope they will be able to help or support those who are doing the work with their actions and words. That is why I teach Climate Science.
Read other essays from our #ClimateEdNow series.