Ok...so maybe I was a bit naive. No, a lot naive. But it wasn't my fault. I had the best rose-colored glasses ever.
Anywho, when I first started teaching I had a real "oh crap" moment when I realized I didn't know everything. I had a B.S. and M.S. in biology. My research in grad school had been focused on the serotonergic system in the rat brain and how hormones affected this system. Sounds smart, right? I worked in research for a time being. I even worked in a crime lab. I was smart! I knew my stuff! Um, not really. You see, I didn't know a single thing about ecology, which is a huge component of high school biology. And photosynthesis? No. I knew DNA inside and out. I could PCR with the best of them, but evolution? Um....I know Darwin. I.was.in.trouble.
I spent the bulk of my first year of teaching learning not only how to teach, but my content matter. How could anyone possibly know all of this content in depth? I was studying all the time and when having conversations with my coworkers I realized, they didn't know the topics in depth. And then it hit me....teachers really aren't as smart as I thought.
I felt cheated. But in reality hHigh school and middle school teachers know a little about a lot of topics. College teachers know a lot about a few topics, specifically their area of research.
- Why do people who live near the equator have darker skin?
- Why does our skin get darker when we are in the sun?
- If your skin becomes tan to protect you from UV, then why is tanning dangerous?
- Is there a lower incidence of cancer in people with darker colored skin?