I had an interview at a school yesterday. The two administrators and model teacher seemed impressed with my demo lesson. I’m pretty proud of it myself. Here is the standard that was the required topic:
Next Generation Science Standard:
HS-PS1-8. Develop a model that predicts and describes changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on qualitative molecular-level models of solids, liquids, and gases to show that adding or removing thermal energy increases or decreases kinetic energy of the particles until a change of state occurs. Examples of models could include drawing and diagrams. Examples of particles could include molecules or inert atoms. Examples of pure substances could include water, carbon dioxide, and helium.]
I incited students’ prior knowledge by introducing the lesson with sublimating dry ice with hot water. There were “Oohs and Ahhs” for a while that I had not anticipated. Next, I indulged in a typical teenager’s obsession, rollercoasters. I made a reference to the solar system, demoed inertia with a cool “magic trick,” and drew a diagram to explain rollercoasters’ built in safety features: gravity and inertia! This was all a lead in to explain kinetic energy as the energy of motion. End of part one and science is already so engaging!
I printed out a copy of the periodic table for all the students and asked what is the simplest substance on it. Students seemed to already know it. You really can never assume too much as a new teacher. Then I explained very briefly that each box contains a pure substance and came to the purpose of the second part: “molecules are more than one atoms combined” with an addendum that they can cause huge explosions as a foreshadow of what would come next. I quickly changed the topic where students could have anticipated hearing about nuclear fusion and further complex topics that I they have no idea that I have no idea 🙂 Students can be such fools. We returned to the simplest atom. I talked a little more then exploded a hydrogen balloon to demonstrate the sun. That always gets them. It’s so much fun being a teacher because kids are so naive or innocent, should I say? From there, the plan was to ask and answer a bunch of review questions, complete the bubble map and assign students to write a summary paragraph.
Overall, I would give myself a 90%.
Maybe I stayed up until 3am last night because of tea, coke Slurpee or my overachiever mentality that I had to be perfect. It’s 100% or nothing. That’s how I really felt and I’m still milling and toiling over me, a teacher?
The last four months, I was a long term sub in South LA. All my teaching experience has been in 8th physical science with exception to my first semester of student teaching, etc. etc. I came in to sub the second month of 2nd semester in a classroom that had inconsistent subs all year with no teacher. I was a miracle! I stayed with the students the remaining four months. The heartfelt appreciation and compassion of the staff and students alike overwhelmed me. I sobbed in front of my mom the last day of class first time in my life. Uncontrollably. I brought “fun” activities that anyone with a sense of youthful character could pass the time in my class. I enjoyed painting and experimenting (quite literally as sometimes we would spill our density column on the desk instead of measuring it) with the students. I really felt loved and overflowed love (no pun intended).
It was my first time being a teacher with room for error as a long term sub. I was pretty good at my job for once. I felt confident. But now, the thought of being a teacher is frightening the pants off of me. There is no “forgiveness” as a teacher. Students are talking too loudly in class? I don’t have the excuse, “Hey, they are this way because this class had no structure all school year. The school system failed them because there was no teacher. Blame them.”