Sara Van Note
Life Science Specialist
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
M.Ed., Elementary/Early Childhood Education, Antioch University.
B.A., Women’s Studies/Politics, Pomona College.
I teach life science to students in preschool through fifth grade via the Arboretum’s partnerships with the Boston Teachers Union School and the ABCD South Side Head Start. In my job I facilitate a dynamic hybrid of informal and formal education—the in-depth study of science concepts with students in their classrooms and authentic, guided discovery outside in the Arboretum landscape. The boundaries of the classroom burst as I lead students in the exploration of their schoolyard environment, connecting their experiences to Arboretum field studies. I am continually inspired, and challenged, by my students’ enthusiasm for hands-on science.
I’ve taught many subjects over my teaching career, from French to yoga to cooking, but nature is my favorite. I taught in a bilingual Spanish/English classroom for several years in New Mexico, where my
students studied native agricultural techniques, wrote nature haikus, and participated in citizen science projects on the Rio Grande. I’ve also worked as an educator at a natural history museum, led exploration of the marine environment in the Puget Sound, and taught English in Nicaragua.
Some of the other hats I wear are writer, auntie, radio producer, photographer, hiker, and cook. I love to explore the natural world—recently I discovered a screech owl’s home near Bussey Brook!