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A quick reflection at the end of a great Longterm Sub assignment.

Ooh, very stressful but oh, so fulfilling.

Over the past month and a half I took 4 core classes in 8th grade science from approximately 2/3’s failing to more than 80% passing across something almost resembling bell-shaped curves we used to come to know and love. They were a little heavy on the B’s and C’s but much better than all those F’s so I feel pretty good about the whole thing.

I bridged the gap between when a teacher quit and a new certified teacher could come in.

So what helped me accomplish this? Everything from Sahana Srinivasan’s brand new “Brainchild” videos to Little Steven Van Zandt’s teachrock org curriculum such as the “sound breaking” episodes.

I found clever ways to show them that music cuts across all of the Gardner multiple intelligences and relates directly to the concepts they had to focus on like Kinetic and Potential energy.

Now I don’t want you to think it was all fun and games and Romper Room. There were some grueling issues of classroom management to overcome such as repeating the same “Do Now” requirements every day and moving on from the fact that more than half the students at any given time refuse to do anything they’re told to.

I doubt any one of those 4 core classes will resemble a “perfect” Harry Wong classroom but I have to be honest with you, those “goals” only worked perfectly in the 1990’s. These days even award winning K thru 12 classes have constant issues throughout the day that leave teachers wondering just who “Teach Like a Champion” and “First Days of School” were written for. Certainly not the 2019 classroom anywhere in THIS nation.

Good pointers, great guidelines. Be all to end all? Not even close.

But I digress. Long story short, I saw some totally disengaged students become enthralled with science experiments and final project essays and posters, and learning in general. I have to hope some of them now see themselves as scholars or life long learners. At the very least, I think most of them now realize that the scientific method is a great way to be wrong and then figure out what’s right instead of some scary monster to procrastinate away from or fight.