Hello! My name is Chasity Perez and I live just outside of Fairbanks, Alaska with my husband and our three boys (my oldest just graduated! AHH!). I am originally from northern Michigan, but have lived all over the country thanks to the Air Force. With over 14 years of military service (active duty and reserves), I’ve also been an educator for ten years come this fall and graduated from UAF.
I teach at a place-based charter school in town and one of my favorite things is that we strive to instill the need for students to understand the world around them and outside their front door. From plants and animals, to larger issues including politics, it’s pretty amazing and helps connect them to their place before we move to bigger issues. My experience with identifying plants is pretty limited to what I’ve worked to learn myself and from a few local classes from Fish and Game. I love gardening and every year we do a garden at school and also grow plants in our classroom to sell and donate the proceeds. As a family we forage around our home and we do some identification with the forest school I teach during the summer. My favorite plants are really the ones that are the most abundant and useful. By that I mean, even simple dandelions have so many uses and are so much more than a weed. Pineapple weed or cousin of chamomile is great in tea for calming, salads and chickens sure do love it!
Overall, I am really excited about this course. It gives me even more tools for my toolbox to help my students (5th and 6th graders) to understand all the amazing plants we have around us. It also directly connects to our curriculum and gives me the chance to further develop lesson plans and outings for us to further explore the community.