Category: Teaching

My personal views on teaching, strategies, methods, resources and motivations. These are strictly my own opinions, and don’t represent the opinions of my school or district. It is my goal to keep this positive and solution oriented. Comments are always closed. This is not intended to be a forum for debate.

First, Do No Harm

Another school year already brings us another notable classroom chemistry accident. Once again, “the Rainbow Experiment” has claimed victims, this time at a high school in Virginia. After 30 years of teaching science, including 28 years of teaching chemistry, I

Posted in Teaching

What is it with kids these days?

“Kids these days!” I imagine that since earliest human history, there has been a tendency for older generations to see the younger generations as their unworthy heirs. You can almost hear the complaints from just outside the cave – “Kids

Posted in Teaching

Einstein Never Said That, Either

I recently posted about a quote that has mistakenly been  attributed to Einstein. While researching that mistaken attribution, I came across another that I felt compelled to address. This one has been shared in staff development at my school, and was

Posted in Teaching

Einstein Never Said That

Well, it is the start of the school year. If I weren’t certain of that fact, today’s “Convocation” cleared up any doubt. Now that the recession is over, the district can once again afford to motivate us by bringing in

Posted in Teaching


About five years ago, during the course of my evaluation, I was asked by a sharp administrator (who had been a chemistry teacher), “Do you ever get tired of writing all of those problems up on the white board each

Posted in Teaching

Safety First

I recently stumbled across a Google+ feed from a law firm handling a lawsuit for a young man injured in an accident in a New York classroom. A teacher was demonstrating the visible colors produced when various metal cations are

Posted in Chemistry, Teaching

Chemistry Changes in 2014 – 2015

For the first time in about nine or ten years, I will be making some significant changes to the organization of my chemistry course. These will take effect during the 2014 – 2015 school year. Since these changes impact the

Posted in Chemistry, NGSS, Teaching

Next Generation Science Standards

Background For some fifteen years, California has had a science framework built around reasonably well-defined sets of standards. In the case of chemistry, these standards were quite well defined. For many science teachers, it has been a genuine pleasure to

Posted in NGSS, Teaching

Philosophy of Teaching

Twelve years ago, when I had been in this profession for sixteen years, I was asked to write a statement of my philosophy of teaching for a local teaching award program. I don’t think that I had looked at that

Posted in Teaching

Vicki Winterton

“Unthankfulness is theft” – Martin Luther I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the debt that I owe to others in my life. Since I prefer to limit my blogging to my teaching career and the profession of teaching, it

Posted in Teaching