The idea was to do my reflection posts on Sunday evenings, but – as usual – things were a bit busy and hectic. So, here it is!
Well, I made it through my first week of teaching in a public high school, and came out relatively unscathed!
The 4U class started with the intro unit from Reformed Physics Teaching (seriously check this resource out if you teach physics – it’s VERY well done) and learned about how to answer written questions by making their answers more scientific, set goals, learned what good group work looks like, measurements & numbers, and we started solving our first Fermi problems.
The split (3U/4C) class worked all week on a math skills review that included things like manipulating equations, scientific notation, significant figures, converting units, and graphing. They had a quiz on this material yesterday, and most did very well.
There were definitely some things that came up that I did not plan for.
Being my first time starting a high school course, I didn’t know what the first day entailed! The 4Us are with me for homeroom, and that meant handing out lots of papers, getting them to get them signed, collecting fees, giving/getting locker combos and more. That, combined with an assembly the first day, meant we lost the first day completely.
I also was not prepared for the number of students adding/dropping courses, or for students not showing up (or leaving in the middle of class and not coming back).
With my room being newly renovated, there have been some technical issues (no computer, couldn’t connect to the projector, no sound, I can’t get on the attendance system, etc). It also means that all the physics equipment is in another room down the hall and around the corner…and I don’t know what’s there, or where it is.
The learning curve has been high, and I’ve had some not-so-great moments, but I’ve already caught myself thinking “I love this job!” more than once.