∆ Jackson

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 22 2013

More highlights.

I am continuing to enjoy the responses from my students’ final exam essay  (see this page if you have no idea what I am talking about: http://vskk.teachforus.org/2013/05/13/life-lessons-in-science-class/ )

So I thought I would share a few more with you…maybe I went a little  (okay… A LOT) overboard, though, so skip through them as you like : )   Hope you enjoy them as much I did.

She says she learned nothing and then changes her mind halfway through: “To be honest I really didn’t learn nothing [sic] in Physical Science.  I say that because I knew how to do it the first time I went over it but when I had to do it again I forgot.  I did learn the Newton’s Laws [and] a little about circuits. . . . Life lesson wise I learned about college.  I learned to go research what I want to be in life.  You also taught us to plan our future while we [are] in high school.  I learn [sic] to set goals so I can put my mind to what I really want to do.  I learn [sic] not to give up and keep trying.  Ms K, its not your fault that I really didn’t learn anything/.  It was just that it was hard to me.  What you did always teach me was not to give up.  I did learn a few things, I just forgot it.  I want to thank you for keep pushing me to keep trying and don’t give up.”

I just love this in general: “The main thing I learned this year is how to make a homemade oven.  I think its very convenient.  A hobo can use this idea to cook some food or warm up a sandwich.  I was thinking of giving these to hobos so they can not be starving.  That would be a good idea.  [It] could be my way of giving back to the community, that way I can get my blessings.  Well, I hope I pass the test and I hope you can read this.”

If nothing else, I hope I taught my students how to study: “. . . Really, I learned a lot like pay attention when instructed because in college the teacher is going to say rules once.  Another [thing] I learned is to focus, when there is a complicated question you do not know the answer to you stay focus [sic] and try to remember.  Study is another thing I learned because if I would have studied and did my work the first my grades would be looking amazing.”

Awesome essay about the importance of energy in our lives: “The most important thing I learned in Physical Science was the way we consume energy.  I learned about different types of energy I didn’t know about.  The energy we consume and use can convert into another type of energy.  Kinetic Energy is the energy that moves with force.  There are types of potential energy.  Gravitational Potential Energy [and] Elastic Potential Energy  . . . These energy can be useful to the world and other around.  I can take this information and go a long way with it.  Anything is possible.  I can build my own generator with electrical energy and convert into kinetic energy.”

This young lady was convinced she hated science, but I think I changed her mind  : D “First off you know I didn’t like science.  But when I first get here I thought I was going to flunk your class because I didn’t understand science.  But throughout this year you have taught me so much.  You not only explained whatever I needed to understand but you gave me that one on one time. . . . You taught me more than all this, but I guess these [are] the subjects I remember.  But thank you for all you have taught me.  All the cool things you showed me and for being a very unique person.  I might not remember everything you taught me, but some things I do.”

A little somethin’ somethin’ about classroom expectations: “The most important thing I learned in Physical Science was being more respectful.  I was already respectful but Ms K taught me how to be even more respectful.  I thought in High School that you could get up whenever you wanted but it doesn’t work like that.   She said to raise your hand first before you do anything.  She also told me not to talk when others are talking because that’s not showing respect.  . . . She told me that if I asked questions instead of just sitting there that I would learn more.  I’m suppose[d] to pay attention at all times no matter what the distraction is.  I’m even supposed to blow my friends off if they are trying to get my attention.”

More solar oven success: “The most important fun thing I learned in Physical Science is how to be creative.  Making the solar oven was a great experiment for me. . . . After seeing what the solar oven can really do when the sun is actually out, it gave me a shock.  It was really amazing, surprising, and fun.  . . . So, Ms K I want to thank you for coming up with this wonderful idea.  You was [sic] the most fun and enjoyable teacher of all.  -Thanks for helping me with my career choices.”  And again: “I think the most important things I learned in Physical Science is solar ovens, force, and gravity.  It was great making solar ovens.  It help me warm food up when I be on trips [sic].  It also help me learn how to make my own.  If I’m at home and the oven breaks I can make a solar oven.”

I think this is very thoughtful…: “I learned the things that you may think [are] small [are] the most important.  I learned that the decisions I make are sometimes good and sometimes they are not.”

From a young lady whose attendance left something to be desired: “The most important thing I have learned this year in Physical Science is life lessons.  I learned that you should always come to school everyday because if you don’t you’ll have bad grades and they will cause you to fail.  . . . When you miss days you have to make sure that you get your work that you miss.  You also have to make sure you’re paying attention in class.”

Respect, Responsibility, and Accountability (you’ll remember this if you are an avid blog-follower of mine: “The Most Important Thing that I learn[ed] in Physical Science is Responsibility, Respect, and Accountability.  With Responsibility you’ve to stand up for what you believe in and [for] Respect you must give it in order to receive and that respect goes a long way in life.  Ms K I have learned a great deal of stuff from Physical Science such as matter, mass, energy-the different types . . . you filled my mind with knowledge of how things word around us and the way that life works inside and out.  But I think the transverse and the longitudinal waves are my favorite . . . Ms K to be honest with you this is the class that I really learn the most from.  You’ve always found a way to make learning in a fun way and that we still get something out of it and I appreciate you for doing your job as my teacher Ms K.  And the life lesson that I’ve learn[ed] from this classroom is to never give up on your Dream.”

A young lady taking responsibility: “I learned a little something in Physical Science.  But it’s a lot of things I don’t know.  Mainly because I don’t pay attention.  . . . I don’t think Physical Science is easy, but if you keep your head up its not hard either. . . . I learned that Physical Science is a part of life.”

Young lady with the highest average in Physical Science: “The most important thing I learned in Physical Science was EVERYTHING!  All I learned was important because it can help me later on in life.  Physical Science is a very neat subject.  I love it.  Everything we did in Physical Science was fun.  I really loved the experiments the most. . . . Physical Science is Awesome or it just might be that I love science, I don’t really know but I hope to in the future come upon this subject [again].”

From a young man who has faced a lot of hardship this year: “I learned science isn’t always hard.  When you [are] having problems don’t be scared to ask your teacher.  . . . Ask your teacher questions.  . . . I learned all teachers aren’t mean.  And if you talk to your teachers and they see that you care AND [are] trying they will help you.  Thanks.”

One of the top things I tried to stress with my students: “Physical Science has something to do with every part of our lives.”  And another: “I come to find out that Physical Science is stuff that deals with everyday life and how thigns work.”

The joys of an organized notebook (this girl keeps one of the neatest notebooks of all my students): “. . . I also learned about being responsible.  Before I came to Physical Science I was very unorganized.  I learned how to keep all my work in my folder.  Plus, I learned how to color coordinate different items in my folder.  . . . Thank you for all the things you taught me and I am very happy you didn’t give up on me.”

Another notebook shout-out: “I liked the way you had us to get a notebook [sic] to keep all of our notes in so we could keep up with them.  That really helped me a lot because when you gave us study guides all we had to do is refer back to our notebooks and all the information we needed was right there in it.”

Trying to change the reality that Mississippi has the lowest ACT scores in the country: “The most important things I learned in Physical Science is how to take an ACT [test].  It showed me how it will look and how long I will have to complete it.”

This is from an essay that was excellent, but he definitely ended on a silly note, quoting something I wrote on my board after the rat incident and an ant infestation…: ” . . .  Also I learned that Ms K likes to keep the critters out.  No eating or drinking in class.  I am leaving Lanier with my PAWS.  Positive Attitudes Working Successfully.”

Ohhhh, deadlines: “. . . This year I’ve also learned that deadlines are extremely important and the real world won’t accept excuses.  Oh yea! I also met this cool teacher named Ms K, and yes she’s the best science teacher ever!! : )”

From a young man who always felt this class was important: “I learned that when you make a goal be sure that you put your mind to it.  Physical Science is something that  I need in college.  I want to be able to fix on cars and I will need Science to do so. . . . I learned how to let people know how I’m feeling when I walk in a clsasroom. . . . I learned for myself that Ms K is the greatest Physical Science teacher I know.  Ms K wants nothing but the best for her students.  I learned from Ms K that my home was made like a parallel circuit.  I learned that you can use the things outdoors to help you do what you have to do.”

He told me he couldn’t write three paragraphs, but that he really put his heart into it: “The most important thing I’ve learned this year is that learning is fun.  I really enjoyed taking your class.  You have made learning fun from making raps/songs to working in groups.  Making class experiments was my favorite.  Everyday we learned something new.  My favorite project was the wavelength description using the slinky.  You made all of us feel loved and I hope to see you next year.”

This one made me a little sad:  “. . . I think fin this class from me just being quiet and very observant that I’ve lost track of time and knowledge.  The class I’m in the people are very disobedient  ignorant, and very rude to each other and the teacher.  I can say I could’ve learned a lot and probably remember [it] if my classmates weren’t being so rude and disruptive.  I can say I’ve done well with tests. . . . My teacher has taught [me] discipline and given me opportunities outside and in the classroom.”

A different young lady from the same disruptive class: “The most important things I’ve learned in this class is PAWS.  Positive Attitudes Working Successfully. . . . I like the fact that you would write to us in our journals.  That shows in many ways you care about our thoughts.  . . . You always had a positive attitude with us even when the students would have a nasty one. . . . My favorite day was when you showed us a clip of a young woman pumping her gas and once she entered car and got back out . . . it caught fire.  I went to the gas station with my father and he did the same thing.  He wouldn’t listen to me one bit.  Once again Ms K, I thank you so much for all your help and I’d like you to know it would take me far in LIFE!”

Sharing with others what you learned?  Awesome: “Physical Science has helped me understand things about life. . . . I enjoyed all the videos we watched.  Especially the one about the gas station.  I never knew you could start a fire by getting in and out of your car to pump gas.  I wish we could’ve watched more.  I had went home a couple of times and shared with my family some of the things I never knew like Newton’s Laws, different energies. . . . I enjoyed Physical Science.  I’m kinda mad that I had to miss class the last couple of weeks just to get prepared for the US State Test.  I know I missed out on a lot and my grade went down and I be failing the tests I know that’ll usually get an 80 or higher on.  But I wont’ forget all the great things I’ve learned.”

ALL the way back to MATTER!  (I’m so impressed): “First one of the things I learned in Physical Science was MATTER!!!  Matter is something that takes up space.  It may be shocking but we are matter.  For example, when you’re sitting in your desk or anywhere you’re taking up space.  Second I learned about something that’s dealing with why dark colors attract heat quicker than light colors. . . . Finally the last MOST important thing I learned was circuits.  There are two MAIN circuits and they are parallel and series circuits.  Parallel you have more wiring and a series is just one loop.  If I were to build a house I would use parallel because it has more loops.”

A brief professional Friday shout-out!: “The most important thing I learned this year in Physical Science [is] about Responsibility and being Respectful.  Also I learned about other people’s jobs, when we had professional Friday, and sometimes on Thursday.  I can also say that you really tried hard to help us understand the objectives that we go through as a class.  . . . But this past year has been a blast for me and I hope for you, too.  The most important thing I also learned was about my career, and I know more about criminal justice than I ever did and Thank You!”

Well at least someone learned the importance of homework: “I learned a lot of different things in Physical Science.  Not only was it different things in science I would have never found interesting before this class, it was life lessons that made me think and aim more for my goals in life.  The first thing I learned was ‘practice makes perfect.’   even though homework was not my favorite thing, it taught me to put my knowledge to the test out side of school.  When [there was] something I didn’t understand like isotopes, I got plenty of worksheets and I grew to love them.  Finally, my life lesson was that it is more things in this world I will enjoy other than photography.  I saw that I am interested in the law and actually want to pursue a career in it.”

Physical Science is real life: “This class help me realize how to call out things when I see it[sic].  For example, if someone happen to push another person and that person bust their head, then I can say, ‘The force that was input on that person cause them to hit their head as hard as they did.’  Physical Science was a learning experience but also fun at the same time.  . . . . I enjoyed [making the solar ovens] because now I can still cook me something to eat if my mama throw me out the house [sic].  This class also help me more with math.  Since then I [have] been scoring advanced.  Physical Science [is] reasonable and a great class to learn about our everyday life.”

From one of my favorite essays of all.  This young lady wrote almost two pages describing what she learned about solar ovens in great detail, explaining how the ACT helped her, and what she learned from her research project.  Here is a short excerpt from the end: “Finally, but not least, I’ve learned a lot about my career path.  Even though I didn’t finish doing my research paper, it taught me a lot that I didn’t know.  I’ve learned how much money they make.  I also learned what major to take and what colleges have it.  My goal and dream is to become a neonatologist.   I love working with babies.  Having you as my teacher was the best thing ever.  You made sure that you kept [us informed of our grades] and did your best to try to help us pull up our grades.  I couldn’t ask for a better teacher like you.  I’m going to miss being in class and seeing your face.  : )”

“. . . Last, Ms K taught me how to be patient.  She also taught me how to be very alert and pay attention more.  In ending this, I would also like to thank Ms K.  It’s been a pleasure to be in this classroom.”  My dear, the pleasure has been mine.

One Response

  1. Anonymous

    Ronn, It is clear from their essays that you have made a positive impact on the lives of your students. You should be very proud! Also, are there a lot of hobos in Mississippi? I love that kid’s essay. :)
    Love, Cioci Amy

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