Editor's Note: Answers have been shortened and edited for clarity and conciseness.
Describe your career experience. What accomplishments you would like to share?
In college, I had the opportunity to work on a few research projects at the Memphis Zoo, including projects on elephant behavior and monitoring polar bear hormones. My first position after college was as a field assistant on a research project studying baboon behavior in South Africa. I followed wild baboons around a mountain all day every day, collecting fecal samples as I went. It was simultaneously one of the most challenging and most rewarding experiences of my life.
Maggie Blake researched wild baboons in South Africa.
After I returned to the United States, I pivoted to environmental education. I began working as a seasonal park ranger and education technician for national parks and public lands. I mostly worked at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but also at Yellowstone National Park and a historic lighthouse on the coast of Oregon, where I lead tours in character as a 19th-century lighthouse keeper's wife. My work with the parks inspired me to become a career educator. In 2019, I went to the University of Alaska Fairbanks and earned my M.Ed., focusing on place-based education. After moving back to Memphis, I came to Hutchison!What motivated you to become a teacher?
I enjoyed my work in scientific research, but I missed an important component of human connection in my work. I worked for a while as an educator with the national parks, which I loved, but I saw people only as they visited the park. I did not get to develop deep relationships or see growth in my students. I have found teaching to be a wonderful way to share my passions and connect with others on a deeper level. I hope I can inspire students to find a love for (or at least an appreciation of) science.
What are your favorite moments with a student? Why did you choose to teach at Hutchison?
My favorite moment is when a student's hard work pays off. When a student has been struggling with the content but has been trying her hardest to learn, I love when I can show her the positive results she's achieved with her hard work and dedication.
What do you want a student to learn from having known you?
I want them to learn that science is a way of questioning and analyzing the world, more than it is about memorizing facts. I also want them to know that science is not a cold and isolated discipline, but one that is powered by humanity's love, wonder, and curiosity for the world around them.
I was drawn to Hutchison's mission to empower young women to be thinkers, leaders, and helpers in their community. The focus on hands-on and project-based learning aligns with my own teaching goals.What do you like about being at Hutchison?
I love how supportive the Hutchison community is! I feel empowered and supported to try new and interesting activities in the classroom. I also appreciate how they encourage cross-curricular lessons and projects, so students can see how the subjects are connected and truly intertwined in the real world.