COE science student Enya Granados named outstanding new biology teacher

August 17, 2021

Enya Granados HeadshotEnya Granados, a Master’s student in Science Education in the Auburn University College of Education, has been named the 2021 Outstanding New Biology Teacher by the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT).

She will be honored with other NABT Awardees at the NABT Professional Development Conference being held in Atlanta in November.

Granados starts each unit in her biology curriculum the same way. Students watch a video highlighting a phenomenon, and that video becomes the basis for creating a discussion question board. She then designs her instructional approach for the unit to center on those questions and ideas.

“I see a lot of gaps and opportunities in life science both in the representation of identities and curriculum. In my classroom, I use phenomena-based and storyline units that center real-world issues as a way to be culturally responsive,” Grandos said.

She also asks her students to provide input about her lessons and practice, using surveys to collect feedback. As a result, her students are highly engaged, and most importantly, they feel seen and heard.

Granados has been a high school science teacher for only three years, but her teaching career started soon after entering college. She served as a teaching assistant for three years at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio, and during her sophomore year, she completed an internship at the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Summer Education Research Program (SERP). During her junior year she completed another internship, this time at the University of Georgia’s Undergraduate Biology Education Research (UBER) program. She was also the founder of Heidelberg’s first Latinx organization, Berg Latinx Unidos.

Upon graduating from Heidelberg with a BS in Biology and Education in 2018, she began her first position at Russell County High School in Seale, Alabama. While at Russell she taught Pre-AP Biology, Biology, and Environmental Science. She then moved to Alabama Connections Academy, where she teaches Biology and is co-sponsor for the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA).

Granados is pursuing her Master’s of Science Education at Auburn. She is also a Knowles Teaching Fellow, an active member of the NABT community, volunteer at the Kresher Preserve and Nature Center, knitter, swimmer, friend, partner, and main cuddler of her chihuahua.

Her major professor, Chris Schnittka, can’t say enough about the star student.

“Enya is an autodidactic polymath with a heart of gold, truly and completely dedicated to improving the lives of her students,” Schnittka said. “As a Knowles Teaching Fellow, Enya is part of an elite group of science and math educators, and this association provides her with resources to help her grow as a teacher. It also gives her visibility and primes her for leadership roles in the field of science education. Auburn is so fortunate to have her as a student. Enya has a bright future as a science educator and leader! We are so proud of her and so glad to call her one of our own.”

Granados anticipates a bright future as a science educator and engaged citizen.

“My future goals are to become a teacher leader within nationwide organizations and within my school to help schools and teachers become more anti-racist and inclusive by making spaces and opportunities for teachers and students to talk and work together,” she said. “I have so much more learning and growing to do, and I am excited for what the future might hold.”

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