Teacher Appreciation

THANK YOU! Thank you for everything.

For the long hours during the week, the grading and planning on the weekends.

For the hundreds of dollars spent on classroom supplies, and the days spent making your classroom and curriculum as perfect as possible over the summer.

For listening, for talking. For phone calls home, good or bad. For disciplining, for letting things slide. 

For caring, for understanding.

For sticking with it as long as you have, and not thinking [too much] about stopping. We need you. Your students, your neighbors, the whole world. 

Never forget that you are brave, that you are strong, that you are loved. Never forget that you make a difference.


Keeping up…

I’ve been pretty bad about keeping up with my writing and posting schedules on here. Sorry! I might be able to get one or two posts ready during my spring break next week, but I’m not making any promises. (:

If you want to keep up with me more regularly check out my tumblr: mediocre preppy biologist. It’s a lot of science, some personal stuff and a bit of education too.

Be well, teach well.

– H


Happy 2014!

2013 was full of ups and downs for me (yay summer research, boo family drama), overall it was a pretty rough year.

Because I want 2014 to be my best year yet, I’m starting out a little differently. Instead of resolutions, I’m choosing One Little Word (an OLW) for each month (though some people choose an OLW for the whole year). I chose more motivational/inspiring words for the months that I noticed myself struggling this past year, hopefully this helps!
One Little Word 2014

I think an OLW that everyone should think about is grow.Whether personally, professionally, or both, you should strive to grow (even just a little) each year. Who doesn’t want to be the best that they can be?

Are you excited for the new year? Are you setting resolutions or challenging yourself?

Be well, teach well.

– H


What’s to come

I don’t have much time right now, since it’s finals week, but I wanted to give a quick preview of what I’ve got coming up (to keep you interested and to keep me accountable :] )

  • What I Learned in My First Semester as a TA: pretty self-explanatory. I really want to reflect on my semester and see how I’ve grown. This is also convenient because my supervising professor wants me to think about how we can improve the class (in general and also the student experience). I also want a record of everything that I wish I had been told, so that I can share that with the student we choose as my replacement (for when I graduate).
  • Flipped Classrooms: now that I’ve been in a flipped class, I feel like I’ve seen both the good and the bad sides to this increasingly popular strategy. Again, I want to reflect on my experience, but I also want to think about what I might do differently and how beneficial (or not) it can be in a science classroom.
  • Why I Want to Teach: again, it explains itself. I hope sitting down to think about my reasons will help me with decisions about my future (get a Master’s and teach high school or get a PhD and teach at a university, possibly doing research as well).
  • When Your School/District Doesn’t Classify: I went to a high school that is often characterized as suburban with a substantial population of economically disadvantaged students (on free/reduced lunch). But having walked those halls for four years, I know that is not an accurate description of my school; that description hardly captures all the micro-populations of my high school.

That’s all I’ve got for now; stay tuned!

Be well, teach well.



I (sort-of) knew this would happen…

I thought maybe I could avoid it, but no such luck. After this, there will be no new posts from me until after Christmas.

I have been extremely busy with school (read classes, research, TA-ing) this semester and don’t really have much free time. Especially as I begin my search for ‘the one’ graduate school for me. This week alone, I’ve had four late nights in the lab, all back-to-back. Some days I feel like I hardly get a chance to breathe!

I will be writing a lot over winter break and (hopefully) will be able to budget my time better next semester.

I hope your school year has been less hectic and/or stressful than mine, and if not, I hope you get a chance to rest in the near future.

Happy winter, happy holidays, and I’ll see you soon. Be well, teach well.

– H


Presentation Impressions

On Wednesday, I presented the results of my summer research to my peers (including several friends) and professors in my department.

I thought I did an okay job, but apparently, it went extremely well. Later that evening, my PI texted me:

You were praised very highly by my colleagues on your presentation. Very proud of you.

I blushed! Even though I know I am well-like by the professors who did see, I was still quite flattered.

Yesterday, he congratulated me in person and mentioned that students had been praising me as well.

Needless to say, I’m very happy right now. A major stress source is gone and I impressed some difficult-to-impress individuals.

Longer post coming next week on ed reform.

Be well, teach well.

– H


I survived!

I survived the first week of classes! It was a long, interesting week, and I’m thankful I have 1 more day to recover and [attempt to] be productive. Thank goodness for Labor Day! =)

I’m taking 18 credits total: 12 from classes (Physics, Molecular Biology and Biological Statistics), 3 from research, and 3 from my teaching assistantship. (I’d rather get paid, but I’ll take what I can get. Besides, experience is experience.) I’m basically only taking classes with professors I already know, so I got a lot of “Hi, how are you? How’s the research going?” on the first day. It was kind of cool, and it definitely made me feel special.

For the most part, I like my schedule. I have no classes Wednesdays and only one or two most other days. Except Mondays.

On Mondays, I have two lectures and a lab, plus the lab I’m TA-ing It doesn’t sound that bad, but I’m in class from 11 am until 6:15 pm. Nearly 3 hours of that block of time is TA-ing, which is sandwiched between my other classes.

Which brings me to my students: they seem like a good group. Although they did have some trouble with metric conversions and logical units*… I’m trying to be forgiving about that, it was the first day of classes after all. I know close to half of them from other classes or clubs, and a few are older than me (both of these things make me feel a little awkward).

Now I just have to make it to September 11, when I present the results of my summer research project! The next week+ will be extremely stressful, but it will [hopefully] be worth it.

Be well, teach well.

– H

* I’m not sure if this means anything to anyone but me. I mean having a sense of scale and, for example, knowing that nanometers is not the right unit for a measurement taken through a compound microscope.