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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A new slate.

I began this blog 2 years ago as a means for me to reflect on my teaching. I did not anticipate that anyone would ever actually read it. To my surprise people did find it and I appreciated the feedback. Then I made one post in the last year. Despite that I still run into people who have found this blog and appreciate it so I thought I might as well jump back into it. I am probably back to typing to myself again but that is no matter.  That was my original intent all along. If it helps others then that is awesome. So thanks to those few still here. I plan on posting at least one blog entry a week. Maybe more if I can.

So a new year and a new challenge. My students did not do very well on their IB exam in physics last year. I had a feeling that would happen though. I came in late to the game and found that my students were lacking in many of the basics. IB physics is a 2 year program and they had a different teacher for the first year. She did a commendable job considering her situation. She is a math teacher who was thrown into teaching chemistry and physics for the first time ever. Add to that a new math course as well and I can't blame her for any of the student's lacking. I had hoped to fill in some of the gaps but just ran out of time. But I feel much better about this year's group of seniors. They are a great group and  will do much better this year I am sure. Plus I know now a lot more on how to prepare them for the test this year.

In addition to this I will be teaching all the freshmen in our program introductory physics. I've not taught physics to 9th graders before. There are only 5 incoming freshmen who haven't had algebra so I think I will be able to include some of the math rather than making it purely conceptual. In addition as one of only 2 teachers in the program who have all of the freshmen it will fall onto me to help nurture the culture we expect at the Academy. I have some plans on this. I may have them read a bit of Carol Dweck's Mindset. I want to get them started early and often though with thinking about their thought processes and how they are actually learning. It should be fun!