The end of one journey and the start of another

Hey everyone!

The time has come. My journey in the Stan State teaching credential program has come to a close. Man what a doozy! I am beyond grateful for all the amazing professors that have worked closely alongside me, and I feel more than ready to start my journey of instilling curiosity in my students through science. As aforementioned in previous blogs, I will be teaching Anatomy/Physiology and Honor’s Chemistry at Turlock High school. In addition, I will be teaching summer school math for 6 weeks, so I will get some warm-up practice running my own show before diving into my own personal classroom.

I give the highest recommendation to the Stan State teaching credential program. It’s incredibly straight forward and inundated with supportive help from professors and staff. Feel free to reach out to me if anyone has any questions about the program!

Otherwise I’m over and out. My time as a student blogger has also come to a close. It was a lot of fun sharing my journey with everyone! Hope you all have a wonderful summer and congratulations to all that are graduating this week!

Shadi Safi

The bane of any teacher’s existence

Everyonnnneee knows that arguably the worst part of teaching is, without a doubt….. GRADING. As the semester approaches its end, the grading is so much worse! It’s just project after project, assignment after assignment, and packet after packet; all of these adding up and culminating to a whoooole lot of hours spent grading. It makes me realize how much I do not want to assign paperwork assignments when I become a full fledged teacher. I will likely assign most of my assignments on Google Classroom to be done online, so that the automated system can do most, if not all the grading for me. There are copious programs that allow you to integrate a self-grading protocol.

The more time I spend grading, the more I realize how much more efficient I can be if I had the autonomy to structure my own classroom the way I want. On a side note, this is the last week of the credential program and then I am DONE!

Good luck on finals everyone!

Going out of your way to help students

Hey everyone!

As I have been working under my master teacher at Turlock High School, I noticed how much extraneous effort that she puts outside of her classroom for her students. She will often times spend a plethora of her money outside of the allocated funds for science teachers to get her students snacks, lunches, pencils, notebooks, and other school supply paraphernalia. From what I have garnered, not too many teachers do this.

However the most incredible part is how much outside of classroom time she devotes to make sure her students succeed. For her AP Biology students, she has spent the last 3 weeks holding study sessions after school for 3 hours, twice a week. She did this as supplemental study information for students to feel more readily prepared and confident on their AP test. Additionally, this last Saturday, she held a 6 hour study session at her house where she invited 2 full classes over, and served them all breakfast as well. All of it was of course out of her own pocket. This was incredible to me. She spent so much of her own valuable time and money on her students, to help them succeed.

It makes me truly inundated with veneration towards her. I can only hope to aspire to become as great of a teacher, and I am happy to see a tangible goal that I can work forward to achieve some day

The last month approaches

Hey guys!

This is the FINAL stretch of the semester. For all of us! As I walk through the equanimity of the library, I can see the look on everyone’s face as they are inundated with midterms, impending projects, finals, and for some, graduation! I suppose in a way, I am one of those few! Albeit I am only graduating with a credential, it feels rather outlandish that I am going to walk on the same stage where I received my Bachelor’s degree. It doesn’t feel right because to me, it’s just a credential. For the longest time I was actually thinking of not attending my own ceremony, but I do not want to make a decision that I might ultimately regret. Plus, after all, it’s a milestone that marks the juncture and crux where I will enter into my new career!

I am excited to influence as many students as I possibly can. To have a career where I am both happy and able to individually and positively impact the people around me is incredibly fulfilling.

4 more weeks warriors, you got this!

Speaking at NSO!

Pretty awesome news! I was picked by my professors to be the speaker at this year’s new student orientation for the credential program! I feel very honored to be given the chance to impart my experience thus far in the credential program to all the incoming newbie teachers. Man oh man they have no idea what’s coming…….

Just kidding, it’s a wonderful program and I have garnered so much more knowledge than I ever thought I would. Although what I truly learned the most from, is without a doubt, from actually teaching in the field with the students in person. However, I would not have had the opportunity to do so without the credential program. I learned a cornucopia of theories, applied many of them, and realized what theories worked and what did not work. I did indeed find that many theories were not as applicable to real life teaching, but that’s true in any field of study.

I have no formulated my speech yet but I am super eager to share all that I’ve learned, because I remember specifically being in that NSO lecture listening to someone else’s experience and being in awe. I am incredibly excited for the role to be reversed!

Shadi Safi

Revival of Pig brains raises questions…..

Hey guys!

If you’ve been keeping up with the recent news, you may have seen a recent research article floating in almost every news magazine and science source… Yale researchists have been able to revive and resuscitate partial portions of pig brains 4 hours after the pigs were declared dead. Not only that, but the brains were entirely separated from the bodies of the pigs. Scientists were able to keep a blood substitute pumping to keep most of the brain intact. The brain cells were still producing energy and the neurons were still firing! Does that mean the brains were conscious?

A lot of ethical questions have come up in the scientific community world wide. Now we have to wonder how to define consciousness. Is it possible to talk of consciousness in a disembodied brain? How would we know if the brain possessed consciousness?

This research has opened up potential doors to future treatments of human brain injuries, reversing certain brain damage incidents, or even preventing and prolonging death. That is the scary part. Separating someone’s brain from their body after they die and preserving their brain in someone else’s body. Seems incredibly unethical right? But some scientists don’t care and want to be the first ones to try it and be the first to succeed. I am a huge proponent of scientific research, but when it comes to dabbling with controlling the natural course of life, I think a line has to be drawn.

What do you guys think?

 

Officially Signed!

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOD news! I have officially signed my position as Turlock High School’s next Anatomy/Physiology teacher! I’ll be the only one teaching it wooo! Only drawback….is that I also have to teach 1-2 periods of chemistry but hey that’s okay! Chemistry has always been a tough subject for most students in high school. Maybe I can be that teacher that makes it easy to understand for everyone, so that they don’t just walk out of high school having a negative mindset towards chemistry like most people do.

But ANATOMY! Oh man I’m excited. I worked in the medical field for two years so I cannot wait to impart my patient care experience to my students! Feels pretty weird to be locked in stone and pretty much have my full time job secured for next year. Albeit I still somehow need to figure out my health insurance plans and all that…it seems quite daunting. But I have until August to figure that out so I’ll worry about it in August haha.

I hope others in the credential program have found jobs for next year and are as excited as I am!

Class field trips

Hey guys!

SO yesterday I went with my AP biology class to Monterey. We left at 4:55am, and went straight to Lover’s point where the kiddos got the chance to go tide pooling and check out the various species of critters that harbor in the rocks. They got to see sea urchins, sea cucumbers, anemones, sea stars, crabs, and many more. Rather than encumber the students with strictly learning marine ecology through textbook images and movable graphics, I find that having students go out in the field and physically study and conceptualize the world of biology is far more beneficial to their learning. It increases memory retention because long term memory is best instantiated when the knowledge is coupled with emotion and kinesthetic (bodily) experience. We also went kayaking for two LONG hours where I nearly fell over because the sea otters attacked my boat. Finally we went to the aquarium and topped it off with dinner at Bubba Gump’s.

All I could hear from the students was that this was the most memorable experience of their high school lives thus far. That made me happy but a little sad! Because I know that they do not get to experience outside learning, or real life applicability of much of the knowledge that they garner at school. I think that when I teach next year, I’m going to try my hardest to ascertain funding in order to implement a field trip for my students. I think that learning out in the field truly inspires curiosity in children!

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Running an Experiment on my Students

Hi everyone!

I decided to run a little experiment on my students. But not what you probably think! It’s an experiment that stems from Dr. Shawn Achor’s book titled, the Happiness Advantage.  However let me preface my experiment with an experience that occurred to me.

A few days ago, I saw an elderly man at the grocery store who seemed distraught and very sad. I decided to give him a simple compliment and told him that I really liked his shirt. He looked at me bewildered and awkwardly stared at me for about 7 seconds without a word. At this point, I was about to walk away but he then told me… “son, my wife of 50 years of marriage decided to divorce me today. What you just told me has completely made my night. Thank you”.

It really broke my heart and I saw how powerful a simple compliment can be. I decided to tell my students this story, and then run the experiment. The experiment was to have students document 2 positive experiences each day for 21 days in a row. The first experience has to consist of students giving 21 different days a compliment or telling them what they’re grateful for. The second portion is delineating a positive experience that has occurred to them. I want the students to give me details about what happened and how the events made them feel. I offered them extra credit in return, and I am curious to see how their mindsets will change in 21 days, and if their brains will be primed to seeing more positive.

I’ll definitely keep you all updated! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Why is everything being remodeled!?

Hey guys!

In the past 2 weeks, I feel like I got news that so many infrastructures that I spend my time in are being remodeled and renovated! The obvious one we all know about is the student union. However not only is the Stan library going down soon and has limited spring break hours, which severely limits my quiet study time, but the Starbucks on Geer this week is being renovated too! Albeit it’s only going to take 1-2 weeks in order to revamp, allegedly, my lesson planning and homework areas are practically non-existent when I need them the most 🙁

I’ve gone to the Starbucks on Monte Vista and it’s truly not the same. Not only is the crowd more capricious, there is an austere shortage of electrical outlets which poses quite an issue for my laptop because I tend to spend hours doing my tedious online homework and lesson plans.

What can ya do I guess! Maybe Turlock as a whole will start looking a lot more appealing. Has any of this renovation affected anyone else’s study plans?