My first formal exposure to geology in the 8th grade. There was more earth science in 9th grade, thou the quality of what I received the year before was profoundly better. In college I continued my interest in geology and then declared it as my major. Somehow I got the silly idea to go on and get a masters degree. Today I am lucky enough that I actually have a job in my field.
All along thou the method in which geology was taught seemed out of order to some degree. First you learn minerals and rocks. Then it goes on and on from there. One day it got me thinking : how would I teach geology?My approach would to first teach environments. Tectonics. Plate interaction. Warm salty seas. Deep cold sea. Volcanic areas. etc. In each case staring with the largest scale working towards the microscopic. Starting with what we can see. Starting with the historic and moving into present day. Then, what to expect at these places. I think it would be a simpler way for younger students to understand what is under their feet. Then, for instance, when you pick up a limestone you start thinking of the environment in which it formed and other rocks or fossils or bed grading or whatever, that may also be associated with it. And why learn anything about schist when studying rocks in Hawaii?
It's just a thought. It's what I do.