What I learned these last two years…

Some years I ask children to assess what they have learned in my class. This year, I think I ought to ask myself the same thing. What did I learn teaching over the past two years?

This year and last year, I added several curriculum areas to what I feel I understand and can teach well up through the middle school level: Physics of Light and Sound, Force, Energy and Motion, Simple Machines, Genetics, Plate Tectonics and Evolution, microbiology, Sex Education, Physiology.

I have also learned a tremendous amount about organizing a class, though I still have a way to go in this arena. It’s amazing the amount of material, ideas, time frames, and people we have to keep organized at any given time. For me, eight different grade levels, 75 students, fourteen different subject areas each year — or 27 over a 3-year span, twenty-five discreet lessons to teach each week for 30 weeks of teaching — or 750 discreet lessons! Three big projects for three different grade levels spanning 3-months each, including the first big “science fair” project the school has done, with a testing day and presentation day. I learned to guide students in making these project, in creating inventions.

I learned in the social-emotional realm, too. I got better at managing a classroom of children by helping them set up a Responsive Classroom-type rule system at the beginning, and reviewing in periodically throughout the year. I learned when to contact parents for behavior problems, and how to conduct a parent conference in this regard.

I responded to parent requests for stronger teaching of lab reports, and created a system for teaching and grading these — and watched student work improve!

I conducted my first long-term project-based learning project spanning the entire school population, and held a public exhibition of student work. I wrote grants and got money and volunteers to build and expand a school garden program. I held an exhibition of student work at a local community college so students could educate the community about nearby nature.

I led 75 student on multiple field trips into our local canyons, and gave some children their first exposure to nearby nature. I also took students on field trips that gave some of them their first exposure to a scientists’ lab, and a university setting.


I gave students a sense of how fun science could be, and integrated art, writing, technology and ethical inquiry into an inquiry-based science program. Many students said, “I had no idea science could be so fun!

I feel very fortunately to have been able to grow so much, and to offer an opportunity to grow to so many children. I feel proud and lucky to be a science teacher.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

I Love Nature Books

I check out more picture books than my seven-year old twins put together - especially those on science and nature. I hope my reviews will be a useful resource to you!

Downsizing Dad

Discovering the mysteries of family as I help my Dad simplify his life.

prayer & practice

a prayerful & practical guide for manifesting a life you love & deserve!

Raising Literate Humans

Join me on my journey to raise my children to read the word and read the world.


Simple life with cacti

Explorergarden's Weblog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Great Mentor Texts

This WordPress.com site is the cat’s pajamas

Nature Explorer

Just another WordPress.com site

There's a Book for That

Where book love and the joy of a classroom community are shared

Emily Louise Heard

Painting Happiness


Bring new life to your garden!

Reflections on Leadership and Learning

Sharing my learning experiences

The Reading Zone

I am a reader, a teacher, a writer, a thinker, a reviewer, and a dreamer of dreams.


A meeting place for a world of reflective writers.

Waking Brain Cells

"I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells." — Dr. Seuss

Nerdy Book Club

A community of readers

Bug Gwen

Entomology. Ranting. Nerdery.

%d bloggers like this: