I graduated from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and education at the age of twenty-one. My first job, however, was in Texas, over 1,200 miles away from home. I was in a new state, with a new culture, working under a new title: teacher.
As I maneuver through the school year, a certain rhythm develops. The start of the year brings the excitement of new classes and new students. I'm often trying new things in the fall as I've reflected on the previous year's teaching over the summer.
As this is my first blog post, I’d like to introduce myself to the ChemEdX community. I currently teach Chemistry I, Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry, and AP Chemistry at The University High School of Indiana. I use the Chemistry Modeling Curriculum in my classroom
I expect that most high school chemistry teachers assign some type of laboratory related to types of chemical reactions including synthesis, decomposition, single replacement and double replacement reactions. I have used several published versions, but I am sharing my modifications.
20 minutes prep, 40 minutes laboratory, 15-20 minutes discussion
ACS is offering an upcoming webinar highlighting safety called "Tales, Investigations, and Lessons Learned". The role of the US Chemical Safety Board will be defined. Root cause investigations of chemical accidents will be reviewed. Tips on how to prevent chemical accidents will be reviewed.
The Journal of Chemical Education is providing open access to the January 2014 issue. If you don't already have a subscriptiion, this is an excellent opportunity to check out what they have to offer. The new American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT) is highlighted in several articles within the January issue.
By way of introducing myself, I'd like to respond to Deanna Cullen's blog post about social media here on ChemEd X with some ideas of my own. The reason I'm here is that Deanna found me through following one of the chemistry-related Twitter chats and invited me to join ChemEd X as a contributor. I currently teach IBDP Chemistry at the American International School of Bucharest. Since my early days as a teacher, I have utilized technology throughout my instruction. I also incorporate some ideas from the modeling chemistry movement to help my students understand chemistry at the particle level. I'm hoping to share some ideas that will inspire you to try new things, and I'm also expecting to learn a lot from all of you that interact with us here at ChemEd X.
As I follow the conversations about the most recent chemistry classroom accident in Manhattan (see my previous blog post), I see that many agree that we need to advocate for adequate required safety training of our present and pre-service teachers. A good starting point is to pursue training on our own. This past year I began watching the Flinn Safety videos. I know they are good ones. I haven’t seen other free training like this available, but I would love to hear of other opportunities to share here. Read this message from Dr. Irene Cesa, Senior Scientist and Technical Consultant for Flinn Scientific, Inc. If you are interested in seeing a video clip specific to the recent tragedy, she gives precise information so that you can easily find the correct video excerpt.