Ada Lovelace is considered to be the first computer programmer. She is a beacon for women scientists everywhere and Tuesday was un-officially Ada Lovelace Day, whereby bloggers publish a post to draw attention to women excelling in technology. I am not familiar with the tech world on any level, so I am writing about a teacher I had who excelled in introducing science to first graders.
My Grade One teacher was Mrs. Martin at Eastview Elementary School in North Vancouver. She reminded me more of a grandmother than a teacher.
I have written before of how angry I was when on my first day of school I wasn't taught to read. I had waited for so long and wanted to read more than anything that when I came home that first day I told my mother I wasn't going back. She talked me into going back and assured me I would learn to read.
Mrs. Martin taught my class to read. And she taught us a lot more than that. My first biology class was in grade one as well. We had an incubator filled with chicken eggs and for two weeks we cracked one open every day to watch the progression of the developing embryo chick. Of course we had several left over at 3 weeks which hatched, some during class. Mrs. Martin also arranged for a woman to bring in a momma skunk with her kittens so we could get an up close look at them (the momma had been descented).
And then there was the day we made applesauce. Watching the apples cook down and putting them through a ginormous strainer and then eating the finished product. What fun!
We also had another class come in once a week for arts and crafts type activities. It was a developmentally delayed class, mostly children with Down's Syndrome, who would come in and do things with us.
And we put on a play as well, The Bremen Town Musicians. I played the part of one of the robbers and got the biggest laughs with my "acting" fearful and falling down from the noise of the animals. My first taste of slapstick, and fame.
And though not my first taste of biology or science, it was my first structured teaching of those subjects. To Mrs. Martin, I am grateful, as it wasn't until I was in Grade 10 that I had such a "sciency" and hands on teacher. Mrs. Martin is my Ada Lovelace.
Not to take away from any of the other teachers I had, in science or other subjects, but Mrs. Martin left such a lasting impression. As did my first "boyfriend", redheaded and freckled Scott, who would let me win at marbles, much to the disgust of his best friend George. But that's a whole other post...