I’m always telling my students that words have power and purpose. One word can completely change a sentence. Throughout my fellowship in the Natural Sciences museum in Raleigh, I believe this all the more. But, I’m starting to realize that these words will lose their meaning unless I make them 3-D. In other words, I need to link vocabulary to hands-on experiences. I remember reading about DNA sequencing in school- I even remember where I was sitting when I read about it in my textbook. But… I could never have told you much about the science behind it. That is, until the past two weeks. I actually made a gel so that we could analyze DNA through gel electrophoresis. I’m not going to forget that experience any time soon, and what a cool vocabulary word to throw around!
I guess it’s a pretty big undertaking to try to restore the power of words in my classroom, but as a language arts teacher, I feel that it is my duty. Again, giving my students ownership of their learning is a huge part of this. I want them to at least learn to respect the intricacy and uniqueness of the English language even if they don’t like my class. I’ve come to respect science so much more over the past weeks, and as an educator, I’m learning that each subject should be honored and students should understand that life really includes aspects of every subject taught.
To recap, this school year is going to be all about leadership, ownership, respect, and wonder. (Above, the team is setting up gel electrophoresis!)