Hello and welcome to my new blog. I am Michael Morgan and I teach AP Chemistry, Honors Chemistry, Chemistry, and pretty much all things NErDy at Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School in Los Angeles, CA. I have been teaching for almost 30 years. In Los Angeles I am a rare bird, a chemistry teacher that actually studied chemistry in college. I graduated from UC Santa Cruz and then went immediately into a classroom to teach in the inner city and have been there ever since. Along the way I got involved in many different endeavors involving chemical education.
I have served twice as a Fellow at the Institute for Chemical Education at the University of Wisconsin:Madison, I have worked with the Journal of Chemical Education: Software, have taught more professional development than I can remember, and been very heavily involved with the American Chemical Society. Needless to say, chemistry and chemistry teaching are in my blood.
My classroom is an interesting mix of hands on experimentation and some good old fashioned lecturing. It may not be in vogue at the moment but I do believe in having some “Sage on the Stage” teaching in all my classes. It worked for Socrates and it still works for me. I spend on average between 20 and 40 percent of my time on labs and demonstrations.
In the last fifteen years I have become very involved in coaching academic competitions in addition to my teaching duties. I coach Science Bowl, Ocean Sciences Bowl, written Olympiads in Chemistry, Physics, Math, and Biology, and Popsicle Stick Bridge Building. In fact some of the best lessons I have ever learned about teaching have come about from coaching Chemistry Olympiad. More about that next time.