Thursday, March 22, 2018

Teaching Fail


When I agreed to cover this chemistry class for a week, I did not know I would have a cold relapse. And because I knew the chemistry teacher had specifically been looking for someone who knew enough chemistry to keep the class going, I didn't want to call out that first morning. I figured I could limp through the day...

I was feeling better. I had rested the whole weekend, and I called out on Monday (bailing on day three of a three day assignment) so I had a whole three days of rest. But I wasn't quite at 100% yet. (If it had been a one day assignment, I probably would have cancelled.)

I blame the cold. That's all I'm saying.

First period was AP chemistry. The first day I covered, they had a test review. The second day, they had a test. I didn't have to attempt to "teach" them until the third day. I had plenty of time to prepare.

But did I? Of course not. I got through my day. Then after getting home, I ate dinner and pretty much immediately went to bed. (You may have noticed I was absent from blog commenting until Wednesday.)

I figured I could wing it. The teacher left his Powerpoints for the lesson. I scanned through it. I could present that.

Only, I couldn't. The chapter was on electrochemistry. And it started with redox reactions. I never really learned redox reactions. Which became apparent as we went through the lesson.

I read the slides. I paused so they could work through which element got which charge. Which was oxidation and which was reduction. I explained how the "battery" needed a salt bridge to keep the reaction going. I explained that electrons would flow through the wire...

They had questions. I managed to pull up a prior slide that showed oxidation/reduction and hoped that helped answer the question...

Yeah, the kiddos saw right through me. They knew I had no idea what I was talking about.

On the bright side, they are AP kids. They're used to studying. They can figure things out for themselves. And they had the teacher's notes.

At least, that's what I'm telling myself.

(The regular chemistry classes weren't as big a deal. I did actually remember enough of those sections to give those lessons.)

27 comments:

  1. Plus their teacher will be back soon enough to clear up any questions. You can't possibly remember every detail for every subject, that's too much to carry.

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    1. *whispers* My background is in physical science...

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  2. I would see if I could blame it on the cold :P

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  3. I'd blame it on the cold and that i was hit on the head because i have no clue what redox reactions are..is...oh well.

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    1. I remember that they are hard, but somehow I missed studying them? I'm not sure why I don't recall them.

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  4. You did fine :) They'll figure it out or ask the teacher so don't worry over it <3

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  5. Chemistry I woud be lost. Actual I did fairly well in that class.

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  6. I did ok in chem. so did you. but AP kids...I raised one, they are intense.

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  7. I'd just come out and say, "Yeah, I wish I remembered this but...say, let's learn about together!" After all, there's no way a sub can know everything about every subject they might have to teach.

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  8. Oh, man. It sucks to feel poorly and have to do anything outside of the home. Hopefully, the AP kids went easy on you. x

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  9. You did well! Hopefully they will get intrigued and find out more about it.

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  10. I think you did a bang up job covering! I hope you feel better.

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    1. Actually, not so much. But we got through. (Talked to the chem teacher today. There were complaints...)

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  11. Oh dear. Yeah I would have been lost at that point despite how much chemistry I took as a bio major. lol Hope you're feeling all the way mended.

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  12. I hope you're feeling better. I wouldn't call it a "teaching fail," just "teaching when you're under the weather," which I'm sure is a challenge to anyone in this profession.

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    1. I doubt I would have done much better if I had been feeling better. Alas.

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  13. Cold relapses are so disappointing. Just when you think you're better you get sick. It happened to me last year. It was the longest cold I ever had. Good on you with the chemistry. I would have been booed out of the classroom.

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    1. The kiddos were too polite to boo me out. However, my "performance reviews" were not good. (I ran into their teacher on Friday. He let that slip.)

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  14. So why are you a sub and not a teacher? Science anything goes straight over my head. Including this post. Did I study any of that in high school? … I'm thinking no.

    And wow does your subbing swing wide. One day you are taking kids to the store to practice interacting with the world and the next you are teaching AP! Even beyond dealing with kid antics, I bet you are never bored!

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    1. Oh – and also, hope you are back to feeling 100%! :)

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    2. I am feeling better. Thanks.

      The differences are exactly what I like about subbing. Every day is different.

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  15. Well, I hope you're at least feeling better by now.

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