Letter from the Editor: Take Advantage of Those Teachable Moments

Teaching about the Earth system offers us endless opportunities to take advantage of those "teachable moments." Every day, changes in our environment inspire us with questions and new insights. Nowhere do we have more opportunities to seize the moment than when we teach about weather.

I'm excited to begin my role as editor with an issue of In the Trenches focused on weather. The seemingly fickle nature of the atmosphere is always intriguing to students. The desire to understand why clouds change over the course of an hour or what drives severe or violent weather makes introductory meteorology courses very popular on college campuses and makes meteorology a popular component of Earth science classes in general. Students appreciate understanding what they see and experience everyday. In this issue, Neil Laird at Hobart & William Smith Colleges shares how he and a colleague have incorporated lessons in observing and recording weather into their geology field courses. We also have an introduction by Noah Newman to the citizen science program, CoCoRaHs, and articles detailing resources available through Spark and AMS.

Also in this issue, I'd like to introduce to you our new column for faculty and instructors early in their careers — Diving into the Trenches. Each issue of In the Trenches will bring you perspectives, experiences, and ideas from seasoned and new teachers — ways to make your first couple of years in the classroom a much more enjoyable experience. Everyone remembers well the trials and tribulations of their first few years teaching. If you would like to share your experiences, we welcome your contributions!

Contributing to In The Trenches

In the Trenches welcomes contributions about your favorite teaching ideas, best practices, resources, and other special topics that do not lend themselves to more research-focused journals. Examples include ideas about teaching particular themes, classroom-ready K-12 resources, teaching in large classes, assessment, and using research data in the classroom. To inquire about submitting an article, email us at inthetrenches@nagt.org. Also see our web page with guidelines for authors at: http://nagt.org/nagt/publications/trenches/index.html.