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edu180atl: tom rounds 1.30.12

Today I learned that, once again, that solving problems by making connections truly does give me joy. What made today special is that some of that joy made an impact on my students.

Many times I am frustrated when I teach—not so much by what kids don’t learn—but by my difficulty in communicating the subject matter in different ways to be able to facilitate their learning. Today I gave a chemistry lesson that I had given many times before, generally with success, if by success one means that the students learned how to do it. What then made today different? I realized that I hadn’t displayed my love of the concepts and the connections that the work involved in a way that the students could “feel the love”.

I discovered that logic, that clear presentation, that care and rigor, even that caring so much for the needs of the students – all that is not always enough for them. So, as much as it is possible…showing how wonderful science is, how compelling the relationships are, and how meaningful and relevant the subjects are—these are the methods by which they can learn the wonders of science.

Tom Rounds teaches chemistry and physics and coaches golf at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School. He loves his job!

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