Joanne Daniels has been teaching science at Moravian Academy for 13 years, including 6 at the Middle School. In addition to seventh-grade science, Mrs. Daniels also teaches two electives focused on science and STEM. She also leads our science teams who compete at local, regional and state competitions versus students from other schools.
Let’s get to know Mrs. Daniels…
Why did you choose education/teaching as your profession?
Actually, teaching is my second career, although I knew from a young age that it was something I always wanted to do! Deeply passionate about science since I was a child, I decided to pursue a career in the tech industry. Then, when my own children entered school, my desire to teach led me back to school so that I could teach science!
What aspect of your curriculum/program do you enjoy teaching the most and why?
My two favorite aspects of the seventh-grade science program are (1) when we explore living and working in space and (2) the environmental research and design project. It is so much fun to share my love of ‘all things space’ with the kids. The environmental research and design project challenges the students to practice so many important skills as they investigate topics that are relevant to their own lives.
What is your favorite moment/event at Moravian Academy during the school year?
Something I look forward to each year is chaperoning the music adjudication trip to Hershey. Since my classroom is located in the 7 East building, I am privileged to be able to hear all of the music groups as they practice throughout the year. The Hershey trip is the culmination of their hard work. So, it is great to be able to see the students’ adjudication performances and to share in their fun at Hershey Park!
What do you most enjoy about teaching at Moravian Academy?
Because Moravian Academy is really a wonderful small community, I enjoy that I get to know all the students well. It is great to be able to not only teach our students but also to know their families.
What do you hope to provide to students in your classes and what do you hope they take away?
I hope that my students get the opportunity to love and appreciate science as much as I do! And, I hope that as we study our planet and the environment in seventh grade, that students will begin to understand and appreciate their world a bit more than they did before.
What is a classroom activity unique to you?
I have become known as the ‘Shark Tank’ teacher! Actually ‘Shark Tank’ is the nickname for the environmental research and design project. Students select a topic to research, create a report, identify a ‘big’ problem to solve, design an ‘out of the box’ solution and then pitch and market that solution to our seventh grade ‘shark tank’ and through a web site.
What’s the biggest lesson you have learned from your students?
The students always challenge me to keep learning new things since they are really great at asking me questions for which I don’t always know the answers. Their curiosity to want to know more helps me to keep learning more myself so I can answer their questions or move in a different direction with a lesson.
What’s something we don’t know about you?
I have three terrific sons, three wonderful daughters-in-law, and one amazing three-year-old grandson. And, I have three crazy dogs!