I help Biology and Anatomy & Physiology teachers teach with more confidence and enthusiasm.
Check all that apply. “I would love to . . .”
- get a handle on my overwhelming workload at school
- have access to some engaging and effective resources
- find more balance in my life so I can enjoy my job more
- learn new ways to get my students excited about science
If any or all of the above apply to you, you are not alone AND you’re in the right place! Welcome to Science Island. I’m Carla Brooks and my passion is creating and sharing engaging and effective curriculum and instructional strategies that encourage science teachers to teach with confidence and enthusiasm and still have a life outside of school.
Science Island Can Help
After 18 years of teaching high school Biology and Anatomy & Physiology, I started Science Island to feature some of the lessons and resources I’ve created over the last 20 years and to talk about science curriculum, instruction, and other ideas that will be helpful to teachers and homeschool families.
Teaching is Demanding
You care about your students. You understand the huge responsibility you have. And, you love your job. But, it’s becoming your life instead of part of your life. I get it. When I first started teaching almost 30 years ago, I literally worked ALL THE TIME. I even quit teaching . . . twice. More on that below.
One of the important parts of my mission statement is that I want to “encourage” teachers. To me, that means anything I can do to energize your day-to-day life in the classroom. My biggest hope is that my resources and ideas will support your work and alleviate some of the doubts, time-pressure, and stress associated with being a great secondary science teacher.
My teaching experience includes Biology at every level from Basic to Advanced Placement, Human Anatomy & Physiology, Physical Science, Earth Science and Ecology to students in grades 9-12. I have also served as a mentor teacher to five student teachers.
I am a teacher – always have been – and even though I quit (twice), I couldn’t stay away for long. Over the years, I found ways to bring more balance into my life. I worked hard to improve my craft and content knowledge and received National Board Certification in 2002 and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction in 2004.
Once I settled into my last teaching position on the North Shore of Oahu, I told my husband “This is it. This is where I will retire.” I was in love with teaching all over again. It was during this time in my life when I really got excited about creating my own resources. Now, I’m sharing these resources in my online stores on Teachers Pay Teachers and TES. My store, Science Island, features a variety resources primarily for high school Biology and Anatomy & Physiology.
Just click on my logo to take a look at my resources. I hope you find something that inspires you and lightens your load. I’m especially proud of my Biology Digital Textbook for those of you who don’t have textbooks (or don’t like the one you have). And, don’t forget to check out my FREE resources while you’re there!
As you look around my website, you’ll see some other pages in addition to the “Home” page and this “About Me” page:
- “Blog”: Where I occasionally write things that I think you might want to read. I have a science brain so writing is not really my thing, but I’m trying.
- “My Products”: This page contains images of all the resources I’ve created. When you click on a cover image, you’ll be redirected to a page with a brief product description. If you’d like to learn more about that resource or purchase it, click the link to be taken to my Science Island store on Teachers Pay Teachers.
- “Videos”: This page is still under construction. For now, you can click on the link to my You Tube channel, but I plan to embed these videos soon and I will be adding some “Teaching Tips” videos before school starts (assuming I can get up the courage to stand in front of a camera).
That’s a little about me. I’d love to learn more about you, so I hope you’ll visit “The Island” often and leave comments or questions on some of my blog posts. You are also welcome to email me any time at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aloha & Happy Teaching!
B.S. Secondary Education: Biology, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 1988
M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction, Chaminade University, Honolulu, 2004
National Board Certification in Adolescent and Young Adulthood Science since 2002
If you’re still reading, then you might want to know a little bit more about me. So, here you go . . .
Remember when I said I quit teaching twice before? Early in my career, I took a break from teaching to spend some time devoted entirely to trying to start a family. The first few years of teaching were so challenging for me and I thought the stress might be hindering my progress. Long story, short, I gave up on trying to have my own children, went through some pretty major life changes including leaving teaching again, and eventually moved to Hawaii and rededicated my professional life to teaching and my “school children”.
Science is awesome. But, life science is my favorite. To me, everything about nature and living things is like a huge arrow pointing to God. It almost feels like He’s saying, “Look what I made!” That’s why Hawaii was so special to me. I saw God’s hand in everything there – the waves, stars, whales, turtles, mountains, waterfalls, volcanoes, flowers, and the list goes on and on.
So, you will see a lot of references to Hawaii on this blog and in my Science Island store on Teachers Pay Teachers because I lived and taught school there for 14 years. Hawaii is a very special place and my husband and I consider our time there as one of the greatest blessings in our lives. We also brought two special blessings back to the mainland with us – our daughter and son – adopted from the foster care system!
My husband and I planned to retire in Waialua, the tiny little town with precious people and the cutest school you’ve ever seen. Those years were, by far, the best of my career. For many years, I was sure that God intended for me to teach the sweet kiddos in Waialua as long as I possibly could. But . . .
One day, I heard the radio ad that said, “You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent” and my eyes and heart were opened to the idea of adopting children from foster care. I talked to my husband, made some calls, and in April of 2009, we met our 6-year-old daughter on Kauai. Three years later, we added a feisty (that’s putting it mildly) 7-year-old son to our family.
Pretty much as soon as his adoption was final, we put our adorable little 912 square foot house on the market and moved back home. (912 is no joke. And, we had 2 children, 2 dogs and 2 cats! But, we were one block from the beach, so, you know . . . totally worth it!) My new babies had been through a lot and we needed to be back home near our extended family in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area.
So, I did retire from teaching while at my dream job in my dream school, but it was a few years earlier than expected. Life is complicated. Things change.
Once we were back home, I homeschooled our children for a couple of years and I’m still homeschooling our son. While I was very grateful to be able to be at home and serve my family in a new way, there were certainly aspects of teaching that I greatly missed. Then, my dear friend and Waialua teaching buddy, Erica (of Nitty Gritty Science), told me about Teachers Pay Teachers. And here I am. I even have a website. 🙂