Colorado science teacher Ryan Moore turned to education after a six-year stint as staff sergeant in the U.S. Army during Operation Iraqi Freedom and one year as a corrections officer with the Colorado Department of Corrections. Even so, he's no drill sergeant in the classroom at Liberty Point International School. Instead, he draws on his well-hewn leadership qualities to encourage his eighth-grade students to make meaningful connections to science, as well as to themselves.
During class, Moore uses his outside-the-box imagination to teach with memorable, real-world science examples. He pairs students for genealogy exercises, encouraging them to imagine what their offspring would look like. He has incorporated ping-pong into a class on Newton's Laws, dressed up as George Mendel when teaching genetics, and taught atomic structure using black lights and glow-in-the-dark constellations. And while his students say he's fun (and colleagues say he has boundless energy), Moore has consistently advanced student achievement scores over the course of his seven-year tenure at Liberty Point. In the evenings, he is available on email and Moodle to answer homework questions, and he regularly involves parents in student learning. Disinterested kids are said to become engaged with Moore, though he lets kids know that an A has to be earned.
Moore's variegated past has definitely molded him into a leader. He shares with students the story of how he dropped out of college his first year, then pushed himself to go back and get his degree, eventually finishing his B.S. from Colorado State University-Pueblo in Exercise Health Promotion (with a minor in biology) in 2006, and a 2010 Teacher in Residence certification, also from CSU-Pueblo. Having also completed Level One of the International Baccalaureat Training and Level Two of the International Baccalaureat Science Training, Moore has been an integral player in the successful implementation of the IB science training program at his school.
In addition to academic achievements, Moore is praised for imbuing his students with organizational and real-life skills. He regularly plans outdoor education programs to guide desert backpacking trips and teach survival skills to students. He also volunteers for such organizations as the Boy Scouts of America, Pueblo West's Parks & Recreation Department and Avondale Elementary School's Science Nights, consistent with his mission to bring out the best in youth and community.
"Through relationship teaching, you learn about these..." (read more)
Oct 30, 2015
KRCC-FM | NPR | Oct 29, 2015 | Colorado Springs, CO
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