Teacher Champion - Karen Carruthers
In this issue of our BCAITC Teacher Champion series, we profile BC teacher Karen Carruthers. Discover her passion for educating students about BC agriculture, food, and the environment.
Q: What school do you teach at? A: I teach at multiple different high schools within School District 42 - Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
Q: What grade(s) do you teach? A: I teach grades 8-12.
Q: How and when did you first learn about BCAITC? A: I first learned about BCAITC while working as an assistant in the teaching kitchens in Maple Ridge.
Q: How long have you been teaching students about BC agriculture and food? A: Several years.
Q: What are the most important things that you want your students to learn about BC agriculture and food? A: I want students to see how BC agriculture plays such an important role in our everyday lives and our health and well-being. The more we learn about agriculture, the more we can help ourselves and our planet to live more healthfully.
Q: BCAITC has over 500 free downloadable resources including lesson plans, activities, videos, recipes, and more! What is your favourite BCAITC resource and why? A: The recipe section of BCAITC 's website is an incredible resource. Foods and culinary teachers can rely on these tried-and-true delicious recipes that use local ingredients in their classrooms and teaching kitchens.
Q: What is your favourite BCAITC program and why? A: Take a Bite of BC is one of my favourite programs. Many BC farmers and food producers share their amazing products five times per year with teaching kitchens - which provides so much education and delicious food to school communities and culinary students. Students get the opportunity to cook and taste food that is new to them and learn the importance of supporting local farmers.
Q: What is an agriculture or food-based project you have recently implemented in your classroom? A: Over the years, we have incorporated many of the products that farmers graciously donated into our weekly and monthly cafeteria and catering menus. It is fun, creative, and educational for students to see how easy it is to incorporate healthy, local BC products into daily menus.
Q: Do you have any advice for other educators on how to integrate agriculture and food education into their curriculum? A: Keep it simple. Many of the beautiful products that we have access to in BC can be easily incorporated into simple recipes. I think it is important for teachers to model enthusiasm when discussing BC food. Showing students that healthy food is easy and fun to work with is the best part of my job. Integrating agriculture and food education into any curriculum is possible. Food is common ground for all people.
About the Teacher Champion Series: This monthly BCAITC series features BC teachers and school staff who are passionate about providing agriculture and food education to K-12 students. For more information, contact our Communications Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org.