Name: L.J. Krumenacker
Position: Adjunct professor at College of Eastern Idaho and Idaho State University, science teacher at Mountain View Middle School
Years experience: First year teaching at CEI, fourth year teaching in Blackfoot
What made you want to become a teacher?
I do a lot of science with my research and to me, part of doing science is doing outreach. I look at teaching as a way to do that outreach so my students can understand science.
Why are you interested in teaching geology, biology and other sciences?
Life is cool and animals are neat. I love the variety of life and all the shapes and forms they can take. My major focus is on fossils, which let you look at the varieties of animal life that don’t exist anymore and let you figure out how they got buried and preserved in rocks.
With all the schools that you’re involved with, what does a typical day look like?
It’s definitely tiring. I usually get to the middle school about a quarter to eight and teach five different classes during the day. I get done about 4:30 and then drive to either Pocatello or Idaho Falls for a three-hour night class.
How different is the approach to coronavirus precautions between those three schools?
The schedules are still in flux but I think we’re all adapting OK. Everyone is being as careful as they can, making sure that students and the faculty are safe. The biggest difference is at the middle school we’re pretty packed in and don’t have the means to enforce as much distancing. It’s also tougher to force them to wear masks, so there’s a little more wiggle room.
One of your classes at ISU focuses on critical thinking about science. What do you teach your students about that?
Because of they way things are now, it’s extra important to know the difference between science and opinion. I try to teach them that science isn’t the enemy, it’s just understanding how stuff works. So when someone is making an illogical argument, I’m trying to teach them to recognize that and learn the truth.