10/08/2008

RATCHET JOB

We science teachers, we need St. John's Wort, or something. Our scheduled move from out of our trailers at Bullard has been pushed back a week, and there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth from my colleagues, a growing sense of frustration and even despair.

Me? I've already channeled my angst into a YouTube video, which you can see here. I've been checking up on the progress of what is amusingly labeled 'modernization' 2-3 times per week, and I was not entirely surprised by the e-mail from administration informing us of the delay. Frankly, I was skeptical about the original move date ('sometime in the second week of October'), so for it to be bumped to 'sometime on the 16th or the 17th' is hardly the stuff of shock.

But it is a concern. We simply can't do meaningful labs in these settings for certain topics, and science without labs isn't really science: it's a set of largely-unconnected concepts and claims. I can honestly say that in some respects this has been one of my best years as a teacher in terms of pacing, classroom management and organization. Experience, and the energy that I've put into things in order to manage the transition to the trailer, have actually been an overall plus for me and until recently I could honestly say that this was my best year of teaching yet.

But what's happening now is that I'm running out of tricks to make the various non-lab things engaging, and it's in a part of the curriculum (chemistry of life) that really calls out for hands-on experience. I can't lecture every day, or expect them to watch videos or do worksheets indefinitely. I'm going to have to get creative if I'm in here much longer in order to avoid losing the kids. Now, don't get me wrong---I'm a creative person by nature, so I will survive. But my colleagues, who haven't been following the progress of their rooms, who've hung their emotional hopes and dreams on the star of the since-abandoned deadline? They are feeling the strain, and the longer they stay in the trailers, the more the tension increases....

SPACE

1 comment:

Tor Hershman said...

I blow-off steam at YouTube too



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7iQRFP_e90