A picture of Autumn Rivera contained within a hexagon-shape frame, next to an illustration of three stacked books with a green apple sitting on top.

Educator Spotlight: Autumn Rivera

We sat down with 2022 Colorado Teacher of the Year Autumn Rivera to discuss how LabXchange provides access to resources for her and other rural teachers. Autumn is a 6th grade science teacher at Glenwood Springs Middle School in Roaring Fork School District.

From Inspiration to Practice

A woman stands in a shallow river next to a bridge culvert. She is holding a net.

Who are your teaching inspirations? In my fictional world, Ms. Stacy from Anne of Green Gables and Professor McGonagall from the Harry Potter series. Both really got to know their students and did a lot to support them. In my real life, my mother. She taught me from a young age the importance of teaching.
How has LabXchange helped you address challenges in your classroom and teaching
LabXchange has helped me address gaps I see in my students’ learning. I am able to find activities that address areas of growth and/or areas of extension.

“LabXchange offers opportunities for students and teachers to have the same learning experiences regardless of location or resources. Living in a less densely populated area, the opportunity to have access to these learning libraries and tools as a teacher is transformative. Rural teachers now have the ability to bring more ways of teaching into the classroom, including during virtual learning, that greatly benefit our students.”

Picture of Autumn Rivera, a woman with dark hair wearing a black and white striped shirt and smiling broadly. She holds a cupcake up in her left hand that has decorations on top in the pattern of an element.

Tips from a Teacher

What sets LabXchange apart from other online learning tools you have used? In a world with so many online resources, it can be very overwhelming to find accurate and engaging resources. With LabXchange, I know these vetted resources are what I need and I do not need to spend precious time vetting them myself.

What is your favorite LabXchange resource, and why? I enjoy the ability to personalize what I want to use in my own classroom. Sometimes I just want one activity and sometimes I need more. With LabXchange I am able to select what works best for me at the time.

Do you have a favorite teaching tip/strategy to share, whether for in-person, hybrid, or
remote teaching? My favorite teaching tip is to always remember to stop and have fun with your kids. Building relationships with students is crucial. Learn what interests them and then use that to drive your instruction.

Instilling a Passion for Science

What do you hope to accomplish in your career as a STEM educator?If I can pass on my passion for science to my students and have even a few go on to science careers, I would consider that a win. I love seeing former students pursue their passion for science as adults.

Do you have a favorite science joke?

What did one tectonic plate say when he bumped into the other? Sorry, my fault.

Written by
LabXchange team

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