Life science teacher pursues lifelong dream of teaching
March 31, 2018
Filed under Features
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Most students don’t think twice about their Life Science credit for general education classes. But, those who take Environmental Science or Biology might have the chance to meet Jeff White, one of the science instructors here on campus.
He double majored at Eastern lllinois University in Botany and Zoology as an undergrad and finished up his Masters in Educational Biology while teaching high school biology. After four years in a high school setting, he decided to make a change and came to Lake Land.
“Lake Land is an amazing place if you love to teach,” he said.
This was a driving factor for him when making the change. High school teachers deal with a lot of things other than teaching, and university professors are expected to publish works and do research. The most important aspect for White was the educational aspect.
“When I was hired, Dr. Luther said ‘It’s fine to do research. It’s fine to publish if you want to do that on your own time, but your job is to teach.’ And when he said that, I knew I was in the right place.”
White said he’s always been drawn to teaching.
“I knew I wanted to be a teacher from the time I was in elementary school,” he said, even if he didn’t always know what he wanted to teach.
His own teachers had positive and influential roles in his own time in school.
“I kind of caught the bug from them I guess.” White said.
He looks back at his own teachers and sees them as mentors.
“Watching them, I learned a lot”.
Apart from teaching, White is the advisor for Environmental Club and he is on the Academic Counsel. The Academic counsel is composed of individuals from each of the divisions on campus. They look at the academic aspects of Lake Land and work to improve things where they can.
In the past he’s been both president and vice president of the faculty association on campus.
Outside of his work life, he is the Scout Master of Troop 39 in Sullivan, and is also president of the Sullivan School Board. He enjoys singing with his church’s praise band and spending time with nature.
“Whenever I get the chance, I like to get out in the woods,” White said.
Next year, he will also be teaching General Botany and Vertebral Zoology following the retirement of Lucinda Horton.