Over the weekend, I was listening to a Radio Lab podcast as I was cleaning up the kitchen. The show, “The Times They Are a-Changin’” was about the recent discovery that a year might have been longer than 365 days in the very distant past. (You’ll have to listen to the show to find out more.) While this was all fascinating, what really caught my attention was the mention of Emily Graslie, Chief Curiosity Officer at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Now that’s a job I would love!
It turns out Emily also has her own YouTube channel, “The Brain Scoop.” Recent episodes include an explanation of meteorites, ant romance, and answers to viewers questions. One person wanted to know “What is the most important thing museums and their collections have to offer people in education and in their lives?” Emily’s response, that “museums offer a better understanding of our world and hopefully inspire a deeper appreciation for all the rocks and plant and animals and people within it,” made me realize that, in many ways, I’m already a Chief Curiosity Officer.
Over the entire course of my teaching career, my goal has been to help students gain the skills they need to develop “a better understanding of our world.” From teaching short vowel sounds, long vowel sounds and every sound in between, to making musical instruments to investigate sound, I’ve helped my students expand their knowledge of and curiosity about their world.
At school tomorrow, I’ll work hard to “inspire a deeper appreciation” in my students for all the wonders of the world, just as I always have. But from now on, I’m the Chief Curiosity Office of Room 222.