« Home | Day 20: How to torture the teacher - this group de... » | Day 19: What can I do with the Mexicans? » | Day 18: Keeping this blog a secret... » | Day 17: Finding the answer in your sleep » | Day 16: Teaching from the gut » | School of parenthood - lesson #1 » | Day 15: Teaching is a lot like driving... » | Day 14: Can I sue them for this? » | Vitamins cause hypertension - and other interestin... » | Day 13: TGIF - and pumping out alligators in Louis... » 

Thursday, September 22, 2005 

Day 21: The big skeleton in my closet...

A funny thing about me is that I hate labs, lab work, and everything involved with lab experiments.

I hated it when I was in grade 9 biology, some 22 years ago.

I hated the 16-hours per week I spent in labs while completing my Biochemistry degree.

I hated all the labs and workshops of various kinds we were subjected to when I was an engineering student.

And now, as a teacher, I have to GO TO THE DARN LABS - and even though I am not carrying out the experiments per se, I have to plan ahead, check that we have on hand all required chemicals and materials, I have to THINK about the labs. I've been happy so far because I was able to justify NOT going to the lab.

Until this week, I was terrified to take a group of 25-26 girls into the lab and be responsible for what happens for the next couple hours.

A lab is a strange and scary place - not only because there are dead frogs, eyeballs, brains and stiff rats waiting to be dissected, but also because the previous biology teacher (the one who retired after 32 years) organized the chemical products in alphabetical order.
This would suit the left side of my brain just fine - if only the right side of the aforementioned brain didn't create visions of the horrible reactions that can happen when old and almost mouldy chemicals are lined up according to the first letter of their name, ignoring defiantly the properties and reactivity that make them so special...

I was also afraid to screw things up, to trip over the skeleton, scatter the bones everywhere, and NOT be able to rebuild the scary fellow because let's face it, apart from the popular bones like the humerus, the femur, and (my favorite) the funny bone, who the hell knows all the bone names and where they go when they fall off??? Well, I suppose doctors would... AS WELL AS REAL BIOLOGY TEACHERS...

What these girls don't know, what I can barely admit to myself, the big skeleton in my closet, is that I am literally teaching by the seat of my pants - I read the textbook, make some notes and dispense the knowledge. I constantly pray they won't ask a relevant question that bounces me forward to material I have not prepared.

By the time I've given the same lecture 4 times, I barely glance at my notes, and students often comment:

"I can't believe you know all this stuff by heart!"

And I always reply : "You have no idea..." And then I think to myself: "And I intend to keep it that way..."

My Photo

About me

  • I'm Lolita
  • From Canada
  • Challenges... don't we all love a good challenge? University, married life, a mortgage, kids, keeping my sanity while we cruise through life at 100 MPH... why not try my hand at teaching for a year. After all, a school year is only 180 days - anyone should be able to survive 180 days, right? Well, I'm about to find out - follow my journey and enjoy my trials and tribulations as I embark in this 180 day rollercoaster ride of teenage hormones and drama, spiked with discipline, homework, exams and surprises I'm sure...
My profile

Check this out

Powered by Blogger
and Blogger Templates