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IN SESSION: Suffolk teacher enriches curriculum after educational trip

King's Fork High School oceanography teacher Steven Marshall spent a big chunk of his summer training to become even better at his job.

SUFFOLK, Va. — A local oceanography teacher spent a chunk of his summer training to become better at his job.

Steven Marshall teaches oceanography to more than 100 students at King's Fork High School in Suffolk, working every day to relate subject matter like fossils to teenagers. 

Marshall spent part of the summer enriching his curriculum by attending a geology camp out west for educators. He was among 30 teachers chosen nationwide for the "G Camp" experience, traveling to parts of Texas, Colorado and New Mexico. 

“For about 15 or 16 days, we went on the road, pretty much every day at a different stop looking at geological features," Marshall said. 

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The oceanography teacher came back to Suffolk with a fresh curriculum and new ideas for his class. During one recent lesson, Marshall shared pictures of some of the sites he visited, and handed out accompanying rocks as his students worked to form connections between the two. 

“I can say this is a sedimentary rock. This is a picture from where I got it from, this is the environment it formed in," Marshall said. "Even some of the hazards I went through to get it, I had to deal with a scorpion!" 

Marshall said sharing lessons from his weeks-long trip can lend to credibility with the kids while keeping the subject material fresh for both his students and himself. 

“It helps me add a lot to the instruction," Marshall said. “Just to give them stories to be able to tell, and match stories with the things we look at and talk about and just really relate to it." 

Marshall said he tries to do some kind of professional development each summer and encourages other local educators to do the same.

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