A good time was had…

Thursday September 20

by all. Well maybe not, but I did try to bring fun into the classroom.

My time at Hawkesdale P12 College came to an end on Tuesday. I miss it terribly and I find myself thinking of my mentor and the students I taught a lot. I’m sure over time this will diminish but for the moment I am feeling a little lost.

The final seven days of classes saw the year 7s finish the polygon unit and start a unit on tessellations. I think the Playground Project we did together helped the students put their learning to a real life use. Well it would have if I had been able to work out the total area of the school grounds. Never mind, I’m sure the students enjoyed getting out of the classroom, even for a little while.

In science the year 7s were coming to the end of the sound unit. I was asked more than once if we were going to do a dissection. I passed on that one, one dissection was enough. We did talk about how everybody hears sound at different levels by measuring the distance each student could hear a ticking clock. See the photo above. When analysing the results some of the students commented on the accuracy of the results. I was so proud. They had taken one of the concepts we had discussed during the insulation investigating and applied it to another situation.

The final year 9 science class for the term was held on Tuesday and despite my misgivings most of the students finished and handed in their supersenses projects. I found teaching the year 9s very challenging. They are harder to motivate than the year 7s, but based on the results of the student survey they thought I did a good job teaching them. I will miss them.

I was very lucky with the two placements I had this year. The first at Brauer gave me the confidence to believe in myself as a teacher and the second cemented it. I came away from both of these placements with new sets of skills from different teaching methods, class control strategies, to using IT in the classroom. In fact, combined with the work I have done at uni this year, I feel almost (still 5 weeks of uni to go) ready to take on my own classes. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Daryl Richardson, Andrea Gimenez, Britt Gow and Anne Mirtschin, without who I would not feel so prepared for the next stage of my teaching journey. Three cheers guys 🙂

Science musing:

The GM debate has ignited again today after a report that rats being feed genetically modified food over their lifetime developed mammary tumors and severe liver and kidney damage (ABC news). Surely this should serve as a warning that we need to spend more time and money on research before we release new technologies, especially when the consequences to our health could be so devastating. Surely we need to take the time to ensure that these types of technologies are safe rather than assuming they are based on their chemical composition. After all, even though the cocktail mix in these GM foods have not blown up in the developers face,  it does not mean that they are safe when mixed with the complex chemical composition of a living being, be it rat or human.

Then again, how can the scientists who conducted this research be sure that the GM foods caused the mammary tumors and liver and kidney damage? As a scientist I would say that what may first appear as ’cause and effect’ may not actually be the case. Bring on more research, let’s be sure that what we are doing to our food is truly safe before we use it to feed the world.


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