Why science?

If you had told me five years ago that I would eventually be teaching science, I would have laughed at you. I hated science as a student. I'm old enough to say that when I was a student, science was taught strictly from textbooks. I didn't get it because I couldn't see it or experience it. At the time I didn't know that was the reason, all I knew was that it was boring. So when I started teaching I was pretty much a reading/language arts person. For a long time.
 So what changed? Well, it was gradual. I took a position as a reading pull-out teacher at a school I had previously taught. But, the fifth grade math teacher had to take personal leave, so I filled in for her. She decided to retire, and I took her place permanently. And...I loved teaching math! Whodathunkit. I hung around in fifth grade math for a while, and then....we got a new principal. Who decided to "mix it up" a little her second year when she did a fruit basket turn over and moved about 15 teachers to different grades. I was moved to second. I had never taught lower than 4th, and I had never taught self-contained. What an eye-opener that was. Good Grief. The first time I had a student throw himself on the ground and sob because I had taken his ball left me scratching my head and wondering if I was going to survive. But, silly me. I thought "Whee, I get to teach reading again!" I quickly learned that teaching reading to little people is not quite the same as teaching reading to 5th and 6th graders. I would literally struggle to stay awake during small groups. "d-d-d-o-o-o-g." I hated it. (On more than one occasion, I put the kids on auto-pilot and sat down to calculate how many years until retirement. Really.)
 Having said all that, I did figure out that kids love science. They are so curious, and even though I couldn't answer most many some of their questions, I could take them out to the garden. If there is one think I can do, it's garden. So it started there. The following summer I took attended our ESC's Science Academy which I wasn't really looking forward to because it was physical science. But...it was fun! So I started reading and learning. I enrolled in graduate school in January 2013 through the University of Texas at Arlington. It was completely online, and it was awesome. I'm finished now and I learned sooooo much, especially about the pedagogy of teaching science. I learned a lot of science "stuff" as well. I still don't know as much as I would like, but I know how to find it when I need it. 
 So to answer "why science?" I love teaching science because I'm not teaching what seems to be skills in isolation. I'm teaching stuff. Important stuff. And, I have a captive audience. I love it when I tell them it's time to get started on science and they say "Yes!" They say that in the lower grades children learn to read. In the older grades they read to learn. Well I feel like I am teaching them the things they need to know, not necessarily the things they need to know how to do. Does that make sense?
Y'all have a great day!
KarenFollow on Bloglovin

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