My blog about knitting, teaching, and being a mother to two energetic young boys.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Over the years, I've had several people (mostly strangers, or new acquaintances) ask me "Why do you teach high school?" Pretty much they think you've got to be completely nuts to choose to spend a day with teenagers. Well, there are several reasons, not least of which is teens are pretty darned funny & as I see it - I'm getting paid for a day's worth of entertainment & in return I have to enlighten the masses about chemistry & anatomy. Seems like a pretty fair trade. However, some days are pretty craptastic (thanks for that word, HollyJo!) & others remind you why you stick with the profession.

For the past couple of weeks my objective has been to teach my students about the gas laws & how gases, in general, behave. It's always a plus when the kids can do more than regurgitate the information back at me. So - imagine my joy when this is how class began yesterday -

5th Hour Student: "Oh Most Honorable Chemistry Teacher, you won't believe what happened to me the other day on the way home!"

Me (ready for some sort of teenage drama): "No, Most Obedient Student, please share."

5th Hour Student: "So I was walking home & instead of complaining how cold it was, I said to my boyfriend 'Boy, these gas molecules sure are moving slowly!!'"

Pick me off the floor & shut my mouth! This student was actually listening! More than that - she actually learned something & applied her new found knowledge outside of class in a totally new way!

Wow - if she's thinking about chemistry on her own time, I must be doing something right. Yes - I do love my job!

By the way - for those of you who haven't studied chemistry in a while. Basic Kinetic Molecular Theory of Matter states that the velocity of gas particles is directly related to the temperature. So - when it's cold (lack of thermal energy) - gas particles move more slowly than when it's warm. Remember - we're talking about Anchorage, Alaska!

Knitting news: Frogged stole due to new error & desire to obtain pointier needles. Just a couple of more inches to do on the back of the sweater & sock #1 of 'Teatime' (The Knitter Sock of The Month pattern) is well into the gusset....


Courtney said...

So... the gas particles are barly moving at my house :-(

kasiaiscarly said...

ok, chem teachers are just cool! well, maybe i'm biased, as my undergrad WAS chemical engineering and i took 3 HS chem classes. but how fun that someone really did listen!!

Mags said...

Congrats! I love it when those moments happen - its the best! I also agree - teaching teenagers is nothing but pure entertainment!