About Me

The Face Behind Sunrise Science

Hi there! I’m Karla, the face behind Sunrise Science.

I started my TPT store in 2014 and have loved every minute of the journey. The principles that I abide by in creating classroom resources are:

Engagement

Rigor

Aesthetics

I believe that it is always worth the extra effort and time of thinking through unique, meaningful activities in order to make learning interesting, engaging, accessible, and tailored to student needs! I like to keep my students on their toes but also to make them feel at home in my classroom. I absolutely love teaching middle school because kids at this age need role models more than ever, and their innate curiosity is still very present!

If you strive to be a warm and reliable role model, take risks to provide a rigorous and enriching science experience for your students, and love to turn the beauty of nature and the universe’s mysteries into classroom magic, then you have come to the right place! I am happy to have you here and look forward to furthering ideas together ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Some random facts about me: I am married to my high school sweetheart and I’m the only blonde in his Armenian family, I have hiked in the Himalayas, I love the music of Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead โ™ซ, I can sing Tom Lehrer’s Elements song from beginning to end, I am a psycho about recycling!

I earned a B.S. in Environmental Science from Virginia Tech in 2007. I worked at an environmental consulting firm doing groundwater remediation work for one year and became so restless in my little cubicle with hours on my hands. I completed everything exponentially faster than my bosses ever expected me to and so my wanderlust spirit took control and drove me to seek alternatives. I found an organization through which I could go to Guatemala by myself, take an intensive Spanish course, and teach impoverished Mayan children to speak basic Spanish while living with a host family in beautiful Antigua. I squirreled away the money for this trip, secretly bought a one-way ticket to Guatemala on my 23rd birthday, and quit my job three months later after announcing my plans to my parents. I spent 3 months in Central America and it changed my life.

I came back to New Jersey with the full intention on becoming a teacher. One thing led to the next and I found myself teaching science in a maternity leave at my former middle school. The staff at my school was just fantastic– it was a middle school that boosted kids’ creativity and confidence, built community among the students and staff, and nurtured that middle school magic. I had a few really challenging years while I pursued an alternate route to a teaching certification, but I had amazing mentors and a strong support system.

I am certified in New Jersey to teach H.S. Biology, Chemistry, and Elementary Education and I hold a M.S. Science Education with emphasis in Chemistry from University of Nebraska. I have eight years of teaching experience including 7th and 8th grade science for 7 years at my Alma-mater middle school.

 

However, my husband and I had been squirreling away money again for years in the hopes of following another crazy dream to live and work abroad. In 2016, we decided that we’d better take the leap or we’d never get the chance again! My husband landed a job in Wellington, New Zealand so we have become temporary ‘kiwis’, which has been an incredible life experience. Here, I teach a wide range of subjects to Year 7 and 8 students. I also volunteer teaching English to pre-literate refugees. I plan to write about my teaching experience here as it has challenged me in many ways and helped me to explore my own philosophy of education in a deeper context.

If you’d like to learn more about our journey to New Zealand, please check out my other blog at https://parnavores.com/!

Thanks for getting to know a little bit more about me! You can contact me at SunriseScienceTPT@gmail.com.

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