Charlotte Cairns, MRes 2012
Hello! Since completing my research Masters, I have trained to become a teacher. I developed many transferable skills whilst in the Twiss lab in Durham which have stood me in really good stead in this role: communication and organisation skills, problem-solving and even data analysis- you would not believe how much number crunching is involved in teaching…. Well, maybe you would! In fact, key skills of perseverance, resilience and problem-solving are exactly the learning skills I now want to teach children, so that they are equipped to be life-long learners.
I currently work in an eco-school, which is great since environmental education is taken very seriously. My background as a behavioural ecologist is a huge bonus and, in fact, I’m currently managing a project to redevelop our school grounds to be more wildlife-friendly. As science coordinator, I’m committed to making sure that science is taught regularly and that children are just as enthused about it as I was (and still am). There is a large emphasis on Biology within the new primary curriculum- obviously I think this is fantastic! Whenever there is any excuse to use the grey seal as an example, I will! Most recently, this was illustrating life cycles using photographs I had taken on North Rona of pups in various stages of development. Previously, we explored why grey seals have blubber when considering how animals are suited to their habitats- this was a good excuse to stuff some food bags with lard and make ‘blubber gloves’!…
It seems logical to me that if we want the next generation to look after our world, the first step is education. How could we expect anyone to care for something they are ignorant about? As a teacher, I am lucky enough to encourage and nurture children’s natural curiosity about the world around us.