Mr. Kortman's Teaching Website

 Hello, my name is Andy Kortman.  I am a 7th grade science teacher at El Sausal Middle School in Salinas, California.

Check out this interactive graphic that diaplays some aspects of my pedagogy, some tools I use, and my plans for the future:


Why do I teach?

Look at this series of images by Robert Crumb.  The cluttered landscape in the 12th panel got that way incrementally.  It is hard to see it happening because it is gradual.  If there is one wire up, it is not too different when another wire goes up.  The woods, which are completely down by the 9th panel, went down tree by tree.    The last three panels show three visions of the future.  The first shows what would happen if the pattern took its course.  The second and third show possibilities that would entail a radical shift in thinking about human's place in nature, especially the last one.  I want to encourage imaginative thinking in the next generation of leaders to help prevent that first vision of the future.

Image result for r crumb a short history of america Deforestation Timelapse in the Amazon rainforest

This video shows the incremental fragmentation of rainforest habitat.  Without a reimagining of the utilization of the natural resources, this area will be doomed to a loss of biodiversity and ecological services.

Loss of greenery, Increased home size and hardscape decreases urban forest cover in Los Angeles County’s single-family residential neighborhoods




                                                                                        I dislike litter!

                         Image result for litter school campus                                            Image result for litter beach monterey

                                      A lack of imagination prevents a community from reaching its optimal health.                                           A neighborhood, a school, a city, a coast, a forest, a valley, the state, the country, the world...       



                                                                                          Image result for polar bear global warming

                                                                                                        We don't have a lot of time.

                                               Image result for ray troll salmon                        Image result for alfredo arreguin salmon


                                                                Images like these can help students exercise their imaginations.  They can envision brighter futures with intact ecosystems and high biodiversity.

                                                                               "Mass extinction is the sin that future generations will least forgive us for." E.O. Wilson


As you probably guessed, I am a visual thinker.  As well as being a visual learner, I try to be a visual teacher.  I believe it works well with teaching teens, students with ADHD, and English language learners.  Art also helps me teach aspects of biology, chemistry, and physics.  Thanks Art!




                                             Image result for labyrinth                                     Optický, Klam - Obrázky zdarma na Pixabay                           Image result for fractal



                                                                   Designs like the above keep student attention towards the front of the class.  I use them in the backgrounds of slides and in mental break activities.


                                                                              I also where sweaters with designs that help focus student attention on me.   All of the following sweaters would be okay in my book.



Image result for geometric sweatersImage result for geometric men's sweatersImage result for geometric men's sweatersImage result for geometric men's sweatersImage result for geometric men's sweatersImage result for geometric men's sweatersImage result for geometric men's sweatersImage result for men's sweater face pattern


**Remember to check out this Thinglink interactive:**

Thanks for visiting!   


  1. Include one quote from your reflective coach or administrator about your talents or strengths.

Mr. Kortman is the one true path.