Monday, March 5, 2012

Teaching Science

While I'm no scientist, I remember loving science as a student. I loved learning about how things worked, how things were made. I still have my rock collection from when I was a kid from a trip through Colorado and Utah. One of my dreams was to go to Colorado School of Mines and be a geologist. In high school I was the girl that had two jocks in her lab group because I could get get the work done and get A's on labs. I really want that love of science for my kids. It's definitely a field that is continually changing. All you have to do is turn on the news or National Geographic channel, or pick up almost any magazine to know that science changes the world we live in almost daily. The fact that science can be so much fun makes it a no-brainer fun class to teach, right Keetha?

Apparently my older son's science teacher didn't get the memo.

Her class goes like this: students enter class, she gives an intro and has the class turn to the chapter that they are on. She presses play on the "read" feature on the textbook online. The computer reads to them for 10-20 minutes. She passes out fill-in-the-blank worksheets generated by the textbook company for homework. Class dismissed.

No, I am not even kidding. This teacher doesn't even go over the correct answers to questions on the worksheets before the test.

Earlier in the year they were doing a unit on plants and how they get their energy. This is a no-brainer for a simple experiment, right? Celery in a glass of colored water! Nope. Nothing. Last month this grade level took a 3 day trip to an outdoor science lab and not one topic was covered before they got there, and to my knowledge no follow up lessons have been done. My son loved looking at different kinds of plankton under the microscope but I'm really scared that he will lose that enthusiasm because of the lack of direction and leadership from this particular teacher.

I'm painfully aware that my kid is lucky that we are able to feed his desire to gain knowledge through books and trips and encouragement. The thing that sickens me is that there is a kid, sitting in that class, that went on that trip that loved every second of the learning, that will fall through the cracks because this teacher is so detached from the learning process and her students. What if science is this kid's one desire and this is the year that could have cemented it for him or her? What happens to that kid then? My heart breaks for these kids.

This is just one aspect that makes me hate what is going on at our school. I'm working through my feelings about what to do next, but these are some of the reasons why. Please stay tuned for more of the horror. If I have to live it, you have to read about it.
Headless Mom


Rocks In The Wash said...

GAH! That totally is lame that your son has a teacher that sucks the life out of them. The teacher shouldn't be a teacher if they can't teach!

Unfortunately, there are WAY too many of them out there. Have you brought it to the attention of the teacher and/or principal?

Liz@thisfullhouse said...

I can imagine how frustrated you feel right now, Kendra. It's tough enough to get kids at this age interested in, well, anything. I am also curious to learn the teacher's response.

kyooty said...

I'm sharing this post with a friend.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

That is really sad. Hard to believe she can get away with that.
Since when is that teaching. Sounds like she doesn't even need to be in the classroom with them!

Mary @ A Simple Twist Of Faith said...

This post makes me sad. Science can be so exciting. My sister is also a science teacher in CA. In fact, she was one of the Teachers of the Year for the state based on her fun, kid friendly experiments. Last year I home schooled, and she went out of her way to send interesting science games and projects for my girls. I hope things change for your son.