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Lesson Details

Biology

Levels Taught:
Middle School, High School
Need help with your studies? I would love to help tutor you in your classes. Bring your materials and let's get started. I've taught classes in biology, environmental science, marine science, ecology and other life sciences, so I can help you make sense out of yours! Science can be confusing, but it can also be a lot of fun. I would love to help you to understand, and maybe even to love science. One of the best comments a student ever wrote to me was "I used to hate science. After your class this year, I am considering majoring in it at college!"
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Marta teaches

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About

Marta delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5+ and special needs

Teaching since:
1977

Hello! I am a science and math teacher who loves to teach. I got to retire this year, and now I have all the time in the world to tutor, which I love to do. I've especially enjoyed my tutoring in math, and also in GED prep. I like to help students learn and also to understand how to learn.

Another thing that you might want to know about me is that I've won teaching awards. And, I've also been filmed for a documentary known as "This American Land" with my students about 5 years ago. I've linked it below in the Photos and Videos section. It's described like this: "On a small island off Washington's coast, high school students create barriers with oil-absorbing mushrooms to filter stormwater runoff that drains into the ocean." The whole program is about an hour long, but the section of me and my students can be found at Minute marker 15:08. If you watch the video you'll be able to see me talk, and hear my students talk about some of what they learned that year.

If you are reading this, and you look at my profile picture, you might notice a funny looking window above my face. That is the window in the ocean submersible named "Cyclops" which I got to visit last September(2018). Cyclops was visiting Friday Harbor Labs in the San Juan Islands in Washington State, which is near my home. I love to be outside, and I have taught science in the outdoors for much of my career. I have run outdoor schools, taught swimming, sailing, rowing and canoeing, and also taught in traditional classrooms at elementary, middle school, high school and college levels. I have taught mostly math and science, but I've taught all subjects at one time or another.

Hope I get a chance to meet you and work with you on line!

Sincerely,

Marta

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Experience

STEM Teacher (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
Jul 2016 - Jun 2018
Busan Foreign School

At an elite International School in Busan, South Korea, I taught Urban Agriculture to grades 6-8; Pre Algebra to grade 7, Environmental Science to grades 10-12, and Marine Science to grades 9-12.

Teacher
Jan 2002 - Jun 2013
Orcas Island School District

Teacher, Science (Marine, Environmental), Math (Algebra 1, Applied Math, 6th grade math, pre Algebra), Career and Tech Ed (Marine Technology, Computer Science, Applied Math, Math with Business.)

Park Interpretive Specialist
Aug 2001 - May 2005
Washington State Parks

Park Interpretive Specialist and Director, Moran Outdoor School: Ran the outdoor school program where we taught classes in the park to students who traveled there from the ten western states of the US. Moran State Park is located on Orcas Island and has over 6,000 acres and 26 miles of trails. I hired, trained and supervised a staff of 25.

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Education

Career and Technical Education WA State Certification
Sep 2008 - Jun 2009
Central Washington University
M. A..; Curriculum Design and Administration
Jun 1992 - Jun 1994
Gonzaga University
B. S.; Environmental Sciences
Sep 1973 - Jun 1977
Cornell University

Languages

English
Fluent / Native Proficiency

Certifications

TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language)
Feb 2018
TEFL Institute

This certification is the world standard for teaching English. See this website for a full description: https://www.internationalteflacademy.com/faq/bid/102043/what-is-tefl-and-what-is-tefl-certification
Although I have worked for years doing this work, I decided to get this certificate last year to update my skills.

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CTE
Jun 2009
Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction(OSPI)

Biology, Agriculture, 4-12
Jun 1994
Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction(OSPI)

I am also certified all subjects, k-12 as a substitute teacher. I am additionally certified, through my work at the alternative school in our district, as "highly qualified" to teach all high school subjects.

Awards

2012 Stewardship Educator of the Year
Jun 2012
Stewardship Network of the San Juans
Baggley Award for Educational Excellence
Jun 2008
Baggley Family Foundation

Photos & Videos

A film crew showed up to film my class one day about 5 years ago.  If you want to skip right to our part, go to minute marker 15:08
My husband and I found the marks on the beach where a turtle had laid her eggs the night before, when we visited Hawaii one year!

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Presenting awards to a couple of my star students in South Korea.

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The Madrona Tree, found in Washington State, USA and British Columbia, Canada, is one of my favorites.

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From the years I worked with my Alternative School Students--happy graduation memory from about 2007

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My favorite place to teach--out on a whale watching boat in the Salish Sea!

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15 Reviews

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Rion Apr 9, 2019
ASVAB · In studio

Typo edit:

Because of Marta’s help**, I successfully got my GED, High School diploma, and passed the ASVAB with a good score.

Noah Apr 8, 2019
English · In studio

The most important thing about teaching is reaching your students. You could have a world of knowledge locked away, but until you can learn to meet a student's needs and learning styles it will be just that, locked away. Marta has this quality of compassion and intuition about her students that separates her from your average teacher. She saw clearly what my needs and goals were and allowed me to find the solutions from inside myself. Many will attest to this fact. "She was my favorite teacher" is a very common remark from her past students even outside this platform. I observed my own enjoyment working with her as well as noticing her ability to integrate her teaching style with all kinds of students. For the fortunate to the most troubled Marta has a teaching quality that is frankly not found enough in the academic world. She is a teacher of the people and you would be lucky to learn from her.

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Rion Apr 8, 2019
ASVAB · In studio

Marta was my teacher for a few years, she helped me in many ways. First she helped me to get my GED when I decided that was the right path for me. Then a few years later I decided that I wanted to join the US Army, which I learned that I needed my high school diploma to join. So I went back to Marta, and she set me on the path I needed to be on tocomplete the rest of my high school work to get my diploma. Through all of that, she was also helping me study for the ASVAB, which is the entrance exam for the military; it covers a wide range to subjects from general science, arithmetic reasoning and mathematic knowledge to mechanical comprehension and word knowledge. Because of Marta’s hell, I successfully got my GED, High School diploma, and passed the ASVAB with a good score. I would absolutely recommend Marta, she makes learning enjoyable and sets people up for success!

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Lindsay Apr 8, 2019
Biology · In studio

Marta to this day is still my favorite teacher, for any subject! I took Marta for two years, first in marine biology and then advanced marine biology, they both changed my life. These classes helped me cultivate my love for marine life and the ocean while also motivating me to want my career to revolve around marine life and ocean health in some way. She is a very motivating, engaging, genuine, and caring teacher and I would 100% recommend her and her classes!

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Alyssa Apr 7, 2019
Math · In studio

Mrs. Branch was my teacher for 3 years on Orcas island. Due to family and health struggles I often wanted to give up on ever graduating. However thanks to her dedication and passion for education not only did I graduate but she also relight my dream of one day teaching. I now teach in the very rooms she taught me and encouraged my education. The math lessons that I once despised her for assigning are now ones I used on a daily basis and am so glad she did not let me stop until I fully understood them.

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Anna Apr 7, 2019
Biology · In studio

Marta was my marine biology teacher as well as my senior project mentor. She helped me stay on track, edit papers, research and apply myself. She is patient and understanding. Marta has a vast knowledge of marine species and really makes her students fall in love with the subjects she teaches.

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Sarah Apr 7, 2019
Biology · In studio

Marta was my marine biology teacher at Orcas Island high school. Her charismatic energy made being in the class so enjoyable. She never left a student behind, and always made sure that we would all succeed in her classes. By far, Marta was one of my favorite teachers to have.

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Casie Apr 7, 2019
Biology · In home

Marta was an amazing teacher always so fun to learn with. I was very sick at the time an she was very helpful with working around my pain. An her way of teaching is easy to understand. Best teacher i have ever had.

Katie Apr 7, 2019
Biology · In studio

I had Marta for Marine Biology in high school and can say hands down it was one of my favorite courses. The way Marta teaches is amazing and refreshing in that she is patient but strong, knowledgeable but always welcoming to a challenge (as long as you can back it up). She makes you feel encouraged, challenged and always intrigued. No matter in or out of the classroom, she is always available for a good lesson.

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Andrew Apr 7, 2019
Biology · In studio

Marta is an incredibly great motivator and listener. She takes her time to ensure she understands better ways to help or communicate information to each student. She harnessed each students passion and even offered information on extracurricular activities to take part in to help motivate the students with real world application of lessons taught.

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Juan Apr 7, 2019
Biology · Online

Marta is a great teacher. It was a pleasure to be in her class.

Maya Apr 7, 2019
Biology · In studio

Marta was my favorite teacher in High School! I took her class (Marine Biology) not expecting to be amazed by the subject or the material. But, by the end of the class I had already signed up for another one of her classes. Marta engages her students and facilitates the growth of a newfound passion by sharing her own enthusiasm and vast knowledge on whatever subject she is teaching. I always have appreciated how patient she is and her willingness to spend as much time outside of class in order to make sure her students really understand what is being taught. I highly recommend Marta as a teacher, but only if you are prepared to learn a lot and become passionate about whatever subject she teaches you.

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Andon Apr 7, 2019
Biology · In studio

Marta is the reason I graduated High School. The amount of effort she put into helping me graduate really showed me the power of having a good teacher. By giving her students the right tools and the right space to do their work and really understand their subjects allowed many kids in my school to graduate with their diplomas. For her I will be forever grateful. Oh! She also made biology and history fun!

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Henry Jan 30, 2019
Biology · In studio

Marta Branch was my mentor when I did my teaching certification for Biology. She was the utmost professional in that she did all the little things to help me like keeping records of our tasks, times, and evaluation results with detailed rubrics and spreadsheets. At the same time, she always inspired me with a big picture view of both the subjects we were teaching and their impact on students and the world but also on teaching itself. Her warmth, humor, knowledge, and experience made just being around her a pleasure and an education in and of itself!

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Eleni Jan 29, 2019
Biology · In studio

Marta is an exceptional teacher! I have seen her engage students in the classroom, lead wonderful field trips, design hands-on laboratory activities, and provide one-on-one lessons for non-traditional students. She cares deeply about her students and subject material, and is personally invested in pupil success. In the classroom, Marta cultivates an atmosphere where students are comfortable asking questions and expressing themselves. She provides clear explanations to questions and provides appropriate goals for student learning.

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