By Ethan Robinson
Kirby Feaver is the teacher of the month for December. She teaches the life science classes College Prep in Biology, and Anatomy and Physiology. Feaver got very interested in science later on, enrolling in a college science class meant for upperclassmen. She both excelled in this class and had great fun doing it. Feaver was originally an English major, but right then and there, she knew that she wanted to study science.
“I enjoy the challenge and the intrinsic reward you get for solving a problem,” Feaver added.
Feaver was previously at Sterling Middle School for two years, and before that for many years taught biology and chemistry at a high school in California. Feaver says the biggest differences between Colorado and California is the diversity of population density and environment.
Her all-time favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird, because of the lesson readers get from Atticus Finch that you have to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes and walk in them. Feaver believes this lesson to be so important for our world in that it emphasizes empathy for each other and our own individual differences and pains.
Feaver also mentioned 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne, which she read when in the seventh grade. Although the novel has both good and bad science in it, Feaver said that what she took away from the book was doing something really different and exploring new places. This book and another factor made her really want to become a teacher.
The other factor was a professor in college, who took a bland textbook and had a way of making it so much more interesting. This professor made her feel like teaching really did matter.
Feaver mused, “Any person can pick up a book and read, but it takes someone who actually understands what they’re doing and has a real passion for it to truly come alive.”
She said this connects to the one thing she wants students to take away from her class. She personally knows how schoolwork can be frustrating, but she wants students to understand the invaluable lessons science has to offer in explaining how the world works.
“All of us should know how the world works,” Feaver said, “And once we understand how, we can begin to figure out why.”
A fun story Feaver shared with us is when she was on a campground in California. She was walking around the corner of a building and literally bumped into a bear walking the other way. The bear raised itself on its hind legs, as Feaver thought the wild animal would either tear her face off or run away. Luckily, the bear walked one way and Feaver walked the other. However, she was not yet completely safe, as campground staff who had heard the bear sprayed her with pepper spray soon after accidentally.
Nonetheless, beware students, of getting on Feaver’s bad side, because in her own words she has, “walked nose-to-nose into a bear and lived to tell the tale.”