|Posted on July 25, 2012 at 1:10 AM|
Name: Chris Bergmann
Organization: 8th grade science, Kinard Middle School. Kinard CARES.
What do you do? "I am an 8th grade science teacher at Kinard Middle School in Fort Collins, Colorado. I Love teaching kids. You could say I am innovate, creative, and passionate about work. Sometimes the world isn’t nice and pretty, and can be somewhat complicated. Science can be complicated too. I don’t like to teach the traditional textbook, or compartmentalized, content. I like to teach reality, and how it all interweaves and affects our lives. For example, I like to show how chemistry is used in our local environment. One example is my air quality unit. The recent forest fire is a good example how chemistry affects our air quality etc. I like to mix it up, question, and inquire, so kids can get into their own learning. I try to keep it different every day. I also DJ weddings over the summer and I help produce music for kids. I also play the guitar."
How did you come about it? "I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Natural Sciences from Colorado State Universiy. A Trip to Catalina Island sparked my environmental awarreness. The alternative springbreak in Calatlina, through CSU, helped me develop my appreciation for the environment and nature. I want to make a difference and to see value in this world we live in. When I started teaching at Kinard, I wanted to help kids connect as well. Kinard CARES turned into a program about being conscious about sustainability. Sometimes I think society mistakes environmentalism for activism. I also read a lot of motivational books to keep positive—I get that from my dad."
How do you bring joy to others? "I hope as science teacher I can get kids to enjoy science. I was hired to create proficient students and gain achievement. Middle school is difficult with pressure from friends and peers. Science is a small piece of their day. If science makes it to the dinner table, I win. If it gets kids excited to take another science class, I have done my job. I try to be more of a mentor, than anything. I try to think what is going to matter in 20 years, it boils down to a positive mental attitude. Focus on things you can control. Your attitude and effort is only thing can you control. I also use music in my teaching. I use it for sensory engagement and to lighten things up. My students react to different things."
What are the happiest days of your life? "The day I got married, and the day my baby girl was born. On a smaller level, waking up before sunrise, a road trip into the desert, hiking through Bryce Canyon before sunrise, looking at the moon, smelling the smells of nature, cliff jumping in Hawaii, or taking in the sights—it gives you a great sense of adventure. Also, listening to music. I am happy when I write a song or when I perform outside or in the corner of CB & Potts. I am most happy, at work."
First impression . . . Otterocity what does it mean to you? "From personal experience seeing otters at Catalina, otters are positive and playful. They are so curious, but cautious. The word made me feel fun and curious."
As you can see from the video, Chris has fun teaching. He truly shares a joyful spirit and shows Otterocity in what he does.
Keep up the great work!