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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Worst science teacher ever? Probably.

I realized today, for the umpteenth time, that I'm vastly underqualified to be a teacher. In most classes, I can squeak by -- it's not that difficult to put on a mock talk show (hello, that's absolutely using my degree!) or bake cookies. The grammar/reading/writing classes that we sometimes have -- and that consume my entire schedule next week -- are also a breeze.

But today, I had science. Four hours of science.

And truthfully, I was just as clueless as the kids.

The first two hours were dedicated to the solar system but it's been aaaages since I had to know any of that. I only remembered that Earth was the third planet from the sun because of the show "Third Rock from the Sun" and barely recalled that there are eight planets now that Pluto has been demoted.

The class project, to design a model of the solar system with each planet appropriately sized and labeled, became more "creative" with me in charge. Luckily I was equipped with photos of the solar system and using that, plus a quick Google search, no one caught on to my utter ignorance.

My previous knowledge of solar system models was limited to that episode of "Full House" where Stephanie has to make one out of fruit and the family eats her planets. Anyone?

(Pop culture -- now THAT is my forte.)

The next two hour block was dedicated to buoyancy and gravity, a subject that confounded me even more than the solar system. The worksheet for the students to fill out... honestly, I didn't know half of it. Tons of complicated formulas, if f= blah blah blah... In the interest of not showing my stupidity, plus wanting to avoid waste by having countless papers filled out only to be tossed in the garbage, the worksheets remained safely in their folder.

The class project for this segment was to construct a tinfoil boat and see how many coins it could withstand before sinking to the bottom of the sink. Fun? Meh. The kids seemed to enjoy it but honestly, who cares how many coins a tinfoil boat can hold? Not I!

Science + Erin = bad combo. I hated it as a student, took the least amount possible in university (two courses, plant science and... some other class?) and still dislike it as a teacher.

I consider myself an intelligent, well-informed person. I read a couple different newspapers every day, watch the news, read for fun and generally enjoy learning about a variety of subjects. But science? You've found my weakness.