Tom Jenkins, right, teaches a student at Greenon Junior/Senior High School. Jenkins was selected to participate in the NOAA Teacher at Sea program.

Greenon teacher to train on Atlantic Ocean

A Greenon 8th-grade teacher is spending 18 days at sea to learn more about marine life so he can share the knowledge with his students.

Tom Jenkins, who teaches science and STEM at Greenon Junior/Senior High School, was accepted into the NOAA teacher at sea program. The program allows him to join some of the top scientists and researchers to learn more about what happens on the Atlantic Ocean.

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“As an educator, one of the things I continually try to do is improve myself,” Jenkins said. “In order to meet the needs of my students, I need to learn how to be a scientist. Right now I am just a teacher that happens to teach science.”

The trip will be off the cost of New England, he said. Everything he learns while at sea will be translated into hands-on lessons for his students when he gets back, he said.

“I share those skills by going through and practicing what I preach,” Jenkins said. “I want students to walk out my classroom having the knowledge and skills.”

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Greenon local allowing him to take the brief hiatus is good for him and the district, he said.

“This allows me to get real-world experiences that I can share with my students,’ Jenkins said. “I am going to to be blogging and working with other teachers to share what I bring back from the ocean.”

The lessons learned at sea will have an impact on his classes this year, he said. He will also use this year’s class to help him build a lesson plan for future classes, allowing the current students to learn by teaching.

The opportunity is unique, Jenkins said and will help him teach updated information.

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“I am a lifelong learner and I am very passionate about what I do,” Jenkins said. “I will be talking to some brilliant people and then will be able to share that experience with my students.

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