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“The Light Bulb Turns On”

We try not to get too self-promotional here on the Anatomy in Clay® Learning System blog, as we hope our faithful readers have noticed.


But the recent podcast chat with Debbi Warren generated a series of comments that were too good to ignore.


Debbi recently retired (for the most part, that is) from a 28-year career as a high school teacher in Medford School District in Oregon. The teaching career followed 13 years as a radiologic technologist.


One day about two decades ago, she was at a NSTA (National Science Teaching Association) conference when she spotted the Anatomy in Clay® Learning System display.


“I was kind of tired of dissecting cats,” she recalled. “And so I got reeled in. And I didn’t know I would get hooked so hard.”


She bought one model “and the kids loved it.” She raised money and wrote grants and bought more models.


“And boy, it was just such a cool learning tool,” said Warren. “It just made me want to teach more and it made the kids want to learn more. And so I, you know, I just have been building on that, getting more and more products. And every time I do, I just see the value in it. Or not just myself, but the kids. The light bulb turns on. They want to be in class. Their hands are involved, their minds are involved. It's been just fabulous.”


Warren is particularly enthusiastic about the knee model, which prompted her to teach classes focused on specific joints and body parts “and really embellish on those as standalone lessons.”



She also is a big fan of the TORZIKEN® model. “We spend six or seven weeks on body systems and the kids, it’s simpler for them.” The larger abdominal cavity, compared to the Student II model, “means everything can be built pretty easily.”


Warren tried to retire about eight years ago, but the Medford School District lured her back to mentor new teachers and then also to develop and launch a new medical careers pathway class.


But the best news is that Warren’s broad experience with the Anatomy in Clay® Learning System is now available for anyone to experience via on-demand professional development. The Medical Career Pathways course provides a variety of Warren’s insights on the knee, the forearm and hand, the cardiovascular system and more.


Warren said what makes teaching with the system is a willingness to try new things. She urges teachers to ask questions on the Anatomy in Clay® Learning System's Facebook teacher forum.


“We want people to be successful,” she said. “And, you know, this is such an amazing, I think, tool to use in the classroom. I just want everybody to be happy with it and comfortable with it.”


We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.


(Unless, of course, we just did.)

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