Uncertainties

Hi Jesus.  I know it’s been a long time since I’ve spent quality time with you.   I rather fall asleep than stay in deep meditation on spiritual things.  I’m really grateful for my students, Lord.  They are so amazing, I am shocked.  At the same time, I know I am not the teacher I should be to my students.  I have so much encouragement and support from colleagues, I don’t know what to do with it.  I get on a high and forget that I have to work up to becoming an effective teacher rather than assuming it.  I know that I have to take risks but without your light shining, it would be dangerous.  I want to follow the way, the truth and the life.  Be joy incarnate in me.  Give me something to share with others.  Help me not be selfish nor self-centered, but help me be successful by putting others first.  Help me love.  Help me to communicate your words of kindness, healing and encouragement.  Help me know how much to invest and when to refocus on Christ.  Jesus.  My Savior.  And Friend.  Help me know to laugh at myself rather than others.  Help me be critical of myself rather than the system.  Help me exemplify Jesus in my life rather than depending on others first.  Help me prioritize how to manage my time rather than controlling humans.  Help me know the difference.  Jesus, I want to focus my heart and body and soul to the One who understands and listens to my cares.  I want to know you.

These last three days has been like a dream.  I woke up 5am Monday, knowing I should pray for my first day as a “real teacher,” but went back to sleep till 6am.  Literally a dream.  Tuesday, I had to work without technology which was a blessing in disguise but the perfectionist nature of our school kept me a little frustrated.  My bad.  I didn’t prepare much for today (Wed), which made class kind of a drag.  I think my negative perception of self from a history of failure and depression is keeping me from maximizing the support and care I receive from staff.  Lord, it’s like biting into a rotten apple.

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More thoughts…

Advisory:

A Kingdom of Righteousness and Justice (Day 1)

Isaiah 32

1 See, a king will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with justice. 
2 Each man will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land. 
3 Then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed, and the ears of those who hear will listen. 
4 The mind of the rash will know and understand, and the stammering tongue will be fluent and clear. 
5 No longer will the fool be called noble nor the scoundrel be highly respected. 
6 For the fool speaks folly, his mind is busy with evil: He practices ungodliness and spreads error concerning the LORD; the hungry he leaves empty and from the thirsty he withholds water. 
7 The scoundrel’s methods are wicked, he makes up evil schemes to destroy the poor with lies, even when the plea of the needy is just.
8 But the noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands.

Lion Pride! (Day 2)

  • Annotate and discuss Valor Honor Code.  What characteristics of a lion allows it to be friends with a lamb?

Isaiah 11: 6-9

6 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. 
7 The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. 
8 The infantwill play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest. 
9 They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.  
Song: Regina Spektor “Machine”
Labs:
  • Planting Seeds: Isaiah 32
15 till the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the desert becomes a fertile field, and the fertile field seems like a forest. 
16 Justice will dwell in the desert and righteousness live in the fertile field. 
17 The fruit of righteousnesswill be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. 
18 My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest. 
19 Though hail flattens the forest and the city is leveled completely, 
20 how blessed you will be, sowing your seed by every stream, and letting your cattle and donkeys range free.

Planting Seeds: Galatians 5

“Freedom in Christ”

1It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. 
2Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 
3Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 
4 You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 
5 But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. 
6For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. 
7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?
8That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 
9 “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 
10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be. 
11Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 
12As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves! (haha)
13You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 
14The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
15If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

“Life by the Spirit”

16So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 
17For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 
18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. 
19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality,impurity and debauchery; 
20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions
21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Identify these problems with easier vocabulary).
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 
23 gentleness and self-control.Against such things there is no law. 
24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. (double passion! -New Teacher PD)
25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Thank you, Jesus :))

Science is a Metaphor for Life

Advisory:

  1. Circle Time.  This is where we share openly about our families to make a family of our own at school.  Topics to discuss:
  • Justice: What is justice to you?  Identify a problem.  (These are the topics we will discuss in the coming weeks with radio).
  • Hate=action: How will you solve this problem?  What actions will you take?  Outline a plan.
  • Levels of relationships: agape, phileo, and eros.  Example: my father.  (Supplemental Q to justice: What will it take to be in the inner circle?).

Scientific Method and Common Core: Science is an Art Form

  1. Paint a picture.
  2. Outline
  3. List materials
  4. What steps will you take?
  5. Infer meaning
  6. Draw conclusions

Field Trips: Science is a Diagnostic Tool

  • Water Testing: creek pneumonia
  • Soil Testing: how will we clean it up?  kidney stones
  • Soil erosion: plants as an anchor
  • Nature Journaling: watercolors

Afterschool: Raising Aquarium Animals

  1. Bottle Biology

Labs:

  1. Terraqua Column: planting seeds of…
  2. Water Testing
  3. Soil Testing

Song of the Moment: Regina Spektor “Laughing With”

Unit 1 The Scientific Method

The purpose of the first unit is to introduce students to long-term scientific investigations.  We will identify factors that influence others in a positive or negative way.  We will define a problem.  We will know lab protocol for counting and measuring, what are the appropriate tools to use, and procedures for collaborating as a lab group or partner.

Week 1: Scientific Method Overview

  • Rules for Atoms
  • Lab Safety
  • Lab Groups & Partners

Week 2: Qualitative and Quantitative Observations

  • Lab Station Rotation
  • Community and Ecosystems
  • Defining Boundaries

Week 3: Differences Between Variables, Control, and Investigations

  • Lab Tools and Measurement
  • Collecting Data

Week 4: Graphing; Relationships between Independent and Dependent Variables

  • Defining Relationships

Love

During the time I was going to CSUN to earn my credential was a tough time.  For some reason, during the 10 years my grandma was sick I didn’t tell anyone.  I kept it a secret.  There’s a word for that: sadism.  Almost sounds like satan.  But at the time, my grandma was going through probably the most difficult challenge in her life.  She couldn’t swallow.  She had food directly delivered to her stomach through a plastic tube.  She could not move half of her body. If anything, I didn’t open up to people because I wanted to empatize with her.  She couldn’t speak.  Is that love or is it sadism?

After teaching as a long term sub last semester, I discovered a new definition of love.

I have verse 12 memorized because we were told during a college winter retreat to pick a favorite verse (Hi, Pastor Eddie!)  We had read the verse as a morning devotion.

1 Corinthians 13
12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

but in another translation (King James):

1 Corinthians 13

1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2And though I have the gift ofprophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

4Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;7Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Love = Charity

I didn’t know how to engage a rowdy bunch of students who didn’t have a stable authority figure all school year.  I was desperate.  This desperation lead me to use my own funds to buy school supplies and it was addictive.  The innocent joy of students in South LA, from mere plastic bottles and a toy I bought for $30 on Amazon.  This was science.  It was also the welling up of graditude from being hungry for instruction as all middle schoolers should obtain.

Who will be the voice for these students?

I, on the other hand, have a great job at a high performing school where everyone expects me to be a stellar teacher.  Will I disappoint when I cannot satisfy their hunger?

On the second day, I will introduce the Scientific Method by impressing upon students to ask appropriate questions.  Tough love is something I have to work on.  If I let students be children, then they will press on me to to come by their side to complete their work.  When I don’t, students complain that I ignore their questions and tell the vice principal.  This is science and I love it 🙂

A Leap of Faith

Moon and Earth

“My belt holds up my pants and my pants have belt loops that hold up the belt. What the f***’s really goin’ on down there? Who is the real hero?” – comedian Mitch Hedberg

To prove my point, we went back to our dorm room and began randomly selecting names from the campus phone book. We called about 30 people and asked each this question: http://blog.sciencegeekgirl.com/

  1. If you’re standing on the Moon holding a pen, and you let go, will it
    a) float away,
    b) float where it is,
    or c) fall to the ground?

About 47 percent got this question correct. Of the ones who got it wrong, we asked the obvious follow-up question:

  1. You’ve seen films of the APOLLO astronauts walking around on the Moon, why didn’t they fall off?

About 20 percent of the people changed their answer to the first question when they heard this one! But the most amazing part was that about half of them confidently answered, “Because they were wearing heavy boots.”

“Love is the absence of fear.” –Bible

  • We normally associate love with something tangible: a hug or kiss.
  • In order to feel loved on the moon, it brings you to a love of science.
  • It’s only then that you can take a leap of faith.  From the spaceship to the foreign soil, enjoy God’s presence.

Calculating the Speed of Light with Chocolate

There is a new level of fun I discovered today.

For the last ten years, I was a hermit.  I never left the house, rarely intentionally met with people.  I really had no friends.  This realization came to me a few years ago after my grandmother passed away.  The thought that I had no friends was more devastating than not going out to see people.  For the past ten years, I didn’t attend a birthday party, go dancing, traveling, or stay up past midnight like most 20 year old’s do.  I felt disconnected from society, even with people I had known for years because I didn’t fall into the “norm.”  Some accused me of being depressed and I pushed back saying that they were accusing me of having a mental problem.  In reality, I was providing nursing home care at home.  So…back to the present.

Help in Times of Trouble

Since hearing about my job offer, it has been one week.  The following day was Wednesday, so I had planned a bunch of things.  I picked up my check from AAA for the loss from our (actually, my mom’s) previous accident, I submitted one of my last assignments for my first BTSA class online at SDSU (Yay!  My professor, Mrs. Rodenburg, was pretty great.  The class was exactly what I needed: informative and not overwhelming.  It was one assignment per week, without unreasonable grading, she gave lots of affirmation and encouragement rather than “schooling” us).  I also had planned a lunch with two former teachers I worked with in my long term assignment.  They were incredibly gracious, despite seeing and witnessing first hand the goings on in my notorious 5th period last semester.  I couldn’t be more grateful.  I received an email from another teacher I worked with because I had requested to see her PPTs for life science during lunch.  I called her that evening but I wasn’t very good at communicating my needs to her.  This put me in a depression the next day and I don’t remember much of what happened Thursday I had a day off.  Friday was my grandma’s anniversary.  I woke up late, around 11ish, and went to visit her.  I read the Bible and prayed, which is not regular nowadays, but I can when I’m with my grandma.  Then I went to read and study at Bricks and Scones.  I got angry at my mom for no other reason than that I was unproductive and irritable.  Saturday, I went to the hair salon and enjoyed the food faire at 626 Night Market with Michelle.  Sunday, I went to Mosaic Church and took a long nap.  It was a mostly unproductive week.  I was frustrated and anxious, despite accepting the job offer.  Today is Monday, and the knot is uncoiling slowly.  My boss at the hagwon said I could work half days until the end of July, which was very thoughtful.  One of my former co-workers called to check up on me.  I got to vent a little about the immense burden to lesson plan, which makes me seem like a teacher 0.000000000000001%.  A breath.

I Got the Job!

Hello, internet!  My stats so far: 0 views.

I was offered the job yesterday.  Today is my mom’s 61st birthday.  Day after tomorrow is my Grandma’s passing away anniversary and also the deadline I gave the Principal my decision to accept the position.  That’s Friday.  The day after is July 4th.  I’ve recently used the adage, “When it rains, it pours.”  Several weeks ago, my mom got in a car accident.  That day her wallet was stolen, which caused the confusion, which caused the accident.  It was also the one month during 20 years of AAA membership, we missed a payment and unbeknownst to her, she did not have auto insurance.  After some emotional rollercoaster, the insurance was resolved.  However, I was wondering, “God, why all these things at once?”  I’m in a similar situation on the other side of things.  Suddenly, I have an overwhelming workload: 2 new classes for BTSA, summer program for hagwon, and a year’s worth of lessons in one month!  Until now, I’ve mostly been holed up in my room watching Korean dramas.  For once, I don’t have a drama to watch, which was a little irritating, but it was my life.  It’s been my life for a long time – being anti-social and dragging my feet at the thought of responsibility.  I made a small effort today by talking with a couple teachers from my long term assignment.  But I really don’t know if I can take on the load this school will require.  I don’t know where I can sum up the confidence to know I will do a good job.  If the school knew what I was writing, I’m sure they would not want me.  I will not delve into why I will accept the position nonetheless.  When the auto insurance issue was resolved, I realized why God allowed all the problems to occur simultaneously.  He said, “You can do this.”

My Name is Kim Jung Eun.

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.”