Saturday, February 20, 2016

A good teacher...

A new student from another school district wrote this for me soon after he arrived. He said he'd seen it on a poster in the District office. I love that a student can appreciate how hard we work!

Why some of us don't have one true calling: TED talk

I love this TED talk. It sounds a lot like me!

In college I was truly split between the science career I'd been planning all through high school, and my new-found fascination with languages, historical linguistics, and just learning lots of languages, just to see how they worked. Although I can say I speak Danish fluently and German close to fluent (although not up-to-date!), I can also get along in French and communicate in something vaguely like Spanish with my students. But along the way I've also dabbled in Sanskrit, the holy language of the Hindi religion, as well as Greek, Latin, Lithuanian, Russian, Finnish (and a dab of its close relative, Estonian on a visit there) and recently Italian through RosettaStone and DuoLingo.

I also sing in the Claremont Chorale, play the piano, and was considered something of a folk singer in college, playing my guitar and singing songs of Pete Seeger andJoan Baez, as well as a variety of German, French and Russian folksongs. And then there are all the clothes I've made for my children and grandchildren (and their dolls). There's the diaper service I ran for 5 years in Denmark, too, and years as a technical writer. And now I'm back where I started, teaching chemistry and physics in high school.

Many of my students feel the same way. We have to support them to experiment with their lives, but also realize that they will have to earn a living some day.

One of my students is totally into dancing, and every day he manages to come to class he says "I hate being here, I hate school!" But if I can get him to answer a question, I know he's been listening, and then he's sometimes hard to stop. He answers all my questions before anyone else has a chance. He dominates his group on their activities, and even once admitted that he used to think he'd become a biochemist. But right now that dancing is all he can think of.