Carin Peacock teaches our first- and second-grade split class.

Degrees: B.A., National Louis University; M.A., National Louis University

Q&A

What is the most important life lesson you want students to learn in your class?

I want children to understand that they have a voice and that their voice can bring change. I also hope that they leave my class with resilience, perseverance, and an understanding that these life skills will take them far when they are confronted with challenges.

What motivated you to become a teacher?

I always knew I wanted to help people. At first, I was in school to be a nurse. I also worked part-time at a daycare, and I remember one day I was helping a little girl practice writing her letters. She had been working so hard for so long. One day she walked in yelling, “Miss Carin, Miss Carin! I did it! I made my S!” It was at that moment that I realized the impact I could have on a little person’s learning. I was hooked!

I immediately changed directions and started taking education classes at National Louis University. As a student teacher at Baker, I was fortunate to learn from Dr. Terri Bridgman. She was an amazing first-grade teacher, as well as an amazing reading teacher. Learning with Terri motivated me to continue my education and get my Master’s degree as a reading specialist.

What professional development activities have you participated in recently?

I have always been inspired by the beauty of butterflies. In the past few years, the garden work that my class has done has primarily focused on creating a butterfly sanctuary. One of my Baker colleagues introduced me to some of the people who work for the Monarch Lab at the University of Minnesota. Last summer, I participated in a four-day workshop at the lab. It was an amazing opportunity that has elevated my monarch curriculum, which in turn, elevated the children’s monarch experience.

[Young Scientists Track Monarch Butterfly Migration]

Children love monarchs. Many of them have had previous experiences with monarchs when they come to my class. It is at this age, in first and second grade, that children begin to see the world around them and how they are connected to the bigger world. Children realize that they can make a difference in the conservation of the monarchs by tagging, collecting data, tracking data, and planting milkweed to ensure that the monarchs thrive.

This experience paves the way for children to understand that they can make a difference in the world at any age. My hope is that this experience will open doors to more opportunities for conservation experiences and other positive avenues of change as they continue to grow.

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