Our LEAST Favorite Topics to Teach & How We Approach Them with Guest Sam Holcomb of Engineer Does Education [Episode 78]


Click below to hear our least favorite topics to teach in secondary science:

Let’s be honest, we all have certain topics that we have to teach but just absolutely dread teaching. Whether it’s because they are boring, unnecessary, or just depressing, we just don’t want to teach them! I’m sure you know exactly what topics you would skip over if you could and you are not alone, teacher friend! Sam Holcomb is joining me today to chat about our least favorite topics to teach.

We all have different talents and are interested in different things and it is so important that we try to teach what we love and are inspired by (within our standards and limitations, of course) because somebody will be inspired by your enthusiasm for the topic. But when it comes to teaching topics we don’t enjoy, we can still find ways to make them not as awful to teach. 

In this episode, Sam and I are sharing our least favorite topics to teach, ways we make teaching these topics less painful, and why it’s important to show passion and enthusiasm for topics you do enjoy.

Be sure to reach out to your secondary science teacher friend and encourage them to join you in the FREE Podcast PD! It’s the perfect way to get your teacher friends together and take in some bite-sized PD episodes all summer!

Topics Discussed:

  • Why Sam dislikes teaching about rocks and minerals, pollution, and bridges
  • What tips Rebecca has for teaching her least favorite topics like sig figs, photosynthesis, and tissues, bones, and muscles
  • Ideas for how you can make these topics more fun
  • Why it is so important that you try to teach what you are passionate about and inspired by

Resources Mentioned:

Meet Sam:

Sam transitioned from engineering to secondary science teacher with no education background. 7 preps and 2 kids under 2 at home made it feel like she was constantly drowning. After joining the Teacher gram, she realized she wasn’t alone and set out to do something about it. 5 years, now with 3 wonderful kids, and 15 preps later she’s sharing all her tricks! 

Using her engineering background, Sam helps teachers implement the same ideas that Fortune500 companies use to save time and money, but in the simplest of steps. Online as Engineerdoeseducation and host of the Simple Systems with Sam podcast, she’s giving simple (and slightly nerdy) steps to save you time and energy creating systems that work from the classroom to the living room.

Connect with Sam:

Related Episodes and Blog Posts:

Connect with Rebecca:

More about Secondary Science Simplified: 

Secondary Science Simplified is a podcast specifically for high school science teachers that will help you to engage your students AND simplify your life as a secondary science educator. Each week Rebecca, from It’s Not Rocket Science, and her guests will share practical and easy-to-implement strategies for decreasing your workload so that you can stop working overtime and start focusing your energy doing what you love – actually teaching!

Teaching doesn’t have to be rocket science, and you’ll learn exactly what you need to do to simplify your secondary science teaching life so that you can enjoy your life outside of school even more. Head to itsnotrocketscienceclassroom.com/challenge to grab your FREE Classroom Reset Challenge.

Rebecca 0:00
You’re listening to episode number 78 of the secondary science simplified podcast. Months and months ago I started DME with my friend Sam from engineer does education all about our least favorite topics to teach? And we thought, you know what this would make a great podcast episode. So that’s what I have for you today. If her name sounds familiar to you, it may be because I had her back on the podcast back in episode 11, where she shared tips for how to balance multiple preps because Sam has taught 15 different science probes over the last several years. I knew with her vast experience, she was the perfect person to have this conversation with. If you don’t already know her, let me introduce you to her. Sam transitioned from engineering to secondary science teacher with no education background. Seven preps and two kids under two at home made it feel like she was constantly drowning. After joining the teacher, gram or the teacher side of Instagram, she realized she wasn’t alone, and she set out to do something about it. Five years now with three wonderful kids and 15. Perhaps later, she’s sharing all of her tricks. Using her engineering background sand helps teachers implement the same ideas that fortune 500 companies use to save time and money. But in the simplest of steps online as engineer does education, and host of the simple systems Assam podcast, she’s getting simple and slightly nerdy, in her words, steps to save you time and energy creating systems that work from the classroom to the living room. In this episode was saying we go back and forth sharing our least favorite topics to teach and why we just disliked them so much. But we also then share for each topic how we manage teaching these topics in a way that’s as pain free as possible. I think some of our opinions might be a little controversial and I’m so interested to see if you all agree with our thoughts about what we hate teaching or you know, you vehemently disagree. This was such a fun conversation to have and I hope you enjoy laughing, commiserating and learning with us. So without further ado, let’s dive into my interview with Sam Holcomb of engineered as education. This is secondary science simplified a podcast for secondary science teachers who want to engage their students and simplify their lives. I’m Rebecca Joyner from it’s not rocket science. As a high school science teacher turn curriculum writer, I am passionate about helping other science teachers love their jobs, serve their students, and do it all in only 40 hours a week. Are you ready to rock the time he’s been in your classroom and actually have a life outside of it? You are in the right place teacher friends. Let’s get to today’s episode.

Sam 2:54
Damn, how are you? Doing? Great. We’re on the downhill slide for me at the end of the school year. So I am.

Rebecca 3:02
You’re going to be a couple. Well, by the time this airs, we’ll be done. Praise the Lord, you’re a couple weeks out now. And put my mindset there. Yeah, your mind. Your mind is at this air date, which is mid June. So you’re like already there physically and mentally. But I’m so excited you agreed to come back on the podcast. I loved having you last time. I felt like we think really similarly. And I just enjoy you. And one of the things we’ve talked about in our DMS a lot. I can’t remember who said it first. But one of us was like, we should literally make this a podcast. And that’s things we don’t care about teaching and or hate teaching. You could take it either way. But like you have to because like it’s in the standards, or it’s gonna be on the ESC and it’s like you got to do it. So do you want to kick us off? You’ve taught so many different preps that I know like you could cover so many things. So hit me was one of your, your least favorites.

Sam 3:54
So out of my 15 preps in five years. I can tell you my absolute least favorite and I don’t know if it’s good to start off with the the biggest one rocks and minerals. Oh my I cannot stand rocks and minerals and fun fact it’s in almost no standards. But everybody teaches a rocks and minerals unit. And if I never have to monitor freshmen trying to lick the rocks, ever again. I’m totally fine.

Rebecca 4:24
What are you teaching this thing because I’ve never taught rocks and minerals.

Sam 4:26
How is in a physical science class with earth standards thrown in?

Rebecca 4:32
That’s one thing I hate about physical science is like it is literally different in every state. Like some states there’s earth it Yeah, it’s like so diff I

Sam 4:38
have taught four different versions of physical science less and every single time I just I scroll through really quick to see where are we going with this? Because when you say you have to hit those Earth standards, which not many schools like automatically put into a required course. And actually my school is in the process of restructuring this They throw rocks and minerals in thinking this is like core constant material. And I’m like, no, nobody is going to need to know how to identify rocks, until they go to college for geology, that point, then they can go through this whole thing, learn how to use all the things, I don’t want to have to talk about cleavage. That is realistically the worst part of all of rocks and minerals. And there’s so few labs you can do that don’t require you to just stare at a rock and decide if it’s shiny or not.

Rebecca 5:29
I think like what you said, really hits the nail on the head for me, for almost every single thing I put on my list. It’s the things that we teach in high school that are so content specific that they literally will never need to know unless like you said, they go and major in geology, then they’re going to do but then you’re like, they’re going to learn it then in their intro to geology 101 freshman class, so like, why are we suffering through this?

Sam 5:55
Why don’t we make something like plate tectonics? Why don’t we actually push more effort into that, because that’s really where the geology comes from is like, the true formation and the true standards that we want to cover so that people know what’s going on,

Rebecca 6:11
literally cannot agree with you more. Okay, so like, because this is so painful, y’all, we didn’t want to just come on here and like complain, we want this to actually be a helpful episode for you. We want you to feel seen and heard if you relate to us. If you love rocks and minerals, we’re so sorry, I don’t think Becca from science lessons that rock listens to this podcast, but she loves rocks and minerals. So if you are hating on me and Sam, go find Becca and y’all can like have a thing together. I love her. But we are different in that. But okay, so we want to make this positive too. So each one of these things we hate, we’re gonna give you a tip for like how we survive it. So how are you surviving rocks and minerals, then every time you have to teach this,

Sam 6:47
it’s so cheesy, because I don’t honestly believe is one of the best labs. But doing the starburst Rock Cycle lab, I think is like the most hands on effective way of teaching the important part of rocks, minerals, which is just the rock cycle, and they get a kick out of cutting up little tiny Starburst, you get a little hot plate action going on. So you’re teaching them actual lab skills, and not to touch hot things. But I I just can’t get past how many light bulbs clicked there. And when you click there, the rest of it almost doesn’t matter to me. I also do think it’s kind of fun for them to just pick a random name of a rock and look it up and figure out how somebody can decide if it’s that rock, don’t go through all the rocks, but just say, Okay, you have shale. I mean, especially in an area where I came from where we were a coal country area, we had a lot of shale and a lot of things going on. They were more interested in figuring out okay, how do I know that that’s what it is? Then let me take 15 to 20 samples and try to weed through all the things on some types of rocks you just won’t see in everyone’s backyard

Rebecca 7:59
100% Do you have a lot for that you have a write up?

Sam 8:02
I don’t I use a lot of a template assignments for the things I don’t like. But that Starburst Lab is a classic that I’ve just found everywhere.

Rebecca 8:10
Okay, I just wanted people to know if you had it. If not, I know Google it. Okay, you Google that rock cycle server slot here and

Sam 8:15
I tend to make things for things I like which is moons in space.

Rebecca 8:20
I love it. Okay, well. So my first one I have to mention because this is where we first connected ever this is in chemistry because I’m writing chemistry curriculum right now. And I literally wrote my notes CIG freakin figs. Okay, I hope I don’t get an explicit rating for saying that but significant figures. And here’s the thing, I actually do understand that it is important, like practically, if you are working in a lab or in any sort of field engineering, I mean, you would know like, actually, don’t you feel like you don’t think it matters? I don’t know.

Sam 8:49
Okay, so that’s it matters. My take on math. First of all, I love to tell math teachers, that math doesn’t matter until you apply it to science, so they should really follow my lead. But I strongly dislike when students write in fractions, because that’s not practical for allow environment and measurements only go out so far on anything you would actually need to measure. Hi, we don’t care about all your digits, we only need like the first 13. And we can be incredibly accurate on anything we measure. But when it comes to sig figs, I haven’t found a practical use in the real world for them. Well, really,

Rebecca 9:25
the only thing to me is saying is just basically teaching them yo if you put this in the calculator and it comes out 2.666 repeating don’t write it. Exactly. Use logic and round normally don’t give me like eight decimal places here. And I just think in showing them Hey, like look at this measurement tool, this scale round, so two decimal places, so you shouldn’t be calculating something and making it a Like to me it’s just credibly

Sam 9:47
specific situation, right rounding

Rebecca 9:51
and all the little intricacies of the rules. Like to me it’s just like this is so extra to me. And again, if you’re like a chemist listening and you’re like this is Yes, I mean, don’t even

Sam 10:01
then your equipment would do that for you. So you wouldn’t be able to tell if your equipment was malfunctioning if you knew sigfigs, but you would know if you could just do the general math 100%. I know. And I understand that it feels like it’s important. And I’m sure it was before we had so much technology that was doing the checks and balances and math for us. Yes. Now we have that. And it’s kind of like how I don’t know about everywhere, but at least my area, they don’t have to teach spelling in elementary school anymore. Because we have spellcheck. They don’t teach geography, like state geography anymore. Because people use maps on their phone. People can look up all the quack things, we would rely on technology in any situation that sig figs are actually truly important to do the sig figs for us? Why do we need to do it so long?

Rebecca 10:51
Yes, you just explained that someone better than me. I could not agree more with you. But like it was so funny, because when I even like mentioned, maybe not including sig figs, in the chemistry curriculum, people were like, yeah, like you do, because we have to teach it like, okay, fine, we’re going to do it. But here’s my one tip for making it not horrible. One thing I did for I am doing some still in process. For each chemistry unit, I’m writing I’m writing, I’m including like a reference sheet for each unit. And I’m saying the teacher notes like, I would give this to my students on the test. And it’s unique to each unit. So like, for the first one, I have all the sig fig rolls in it. And I would be like, Yo, let them see this and reference it because I’m like, I don’t care if they can memorize it and get that tiny detail, right. But if they could, like, apply it cool, like, that’s good enough for me. And so that would be my wreck to make it less painful, would be just to like, give them a reference sheet. And then let them run with that if you have to teach it. And then honestly, I probably want to take points off if they got it wrong on assessment.

Sam 11:48
It’s not one of those things that’s worth a drill and kill sort of situation. If they can figure it out. And maybe you let them go back in if they got a problem wrong. Say okay, now I need you to tell me how many sig figs are truly in this? And how you know that and have them practice referencing their resources? Right?

Rebecca 12:09
I think that’s great. And maybe like, I mean, I think it might matter for the AP Chem exam. Don’t quote me on that. I never taught AP Chem. And if it does, then maybe you needed like, actually take points off in your honors class for it. But like in an on grade level class, like, make like Elsa, just let it go. That’s what I would say. I have one more for chemistry. Do you have anything else for chemistry?

Sam 12:28
No, I was fairly new in the chemistry game. So I have some thoughts. But until I taught it twice, it didn’t want to like make sure that I disliked something.

Rebecca 12:36
Well, here’s my other thing. And this would probably be controversial too, is quantum numbers. And honestly, like orbital notation in general. So with like electron configuration, I’m just covering like, we’re doing like one s two, two s two, we’re doing that. And we’re doing noble gas notation. And that’s it because I just feel like, unless you’re taking AP chemistry, or majoring in chemistry, it’s, they don’t really need to understand it to that level of detail with the orbitals, like yes, you would need to understand that orbitals exist. And there are these sub levels in the show for understanding bonding, and like understanding metallic bonding. And it exists because we have deceive electrons, because there’s so much overlap because these shells get so big. But like, in general, I think it’s one of those topics that kids get so stuck in the weeds on and then they’re like, I’m bad at chemistry. This is way too confusing. And it’s like, but this is just hard. And it’s kind of stupid. And like, if you don’t know how to do this, well, you could still like you could still understand so much chemistry, without being able to write out all the notation for any of the atoms

Sam 13:38
in here’s where I 1,000% agree. So when I taught chemistry, first of all, I’m a physics person. Chemistry is not my strength. And it’s not something that I go out there and go, Oh my gosh, I love Chem. I do it. I learned a lot about myself and why I didn’t like him when I taught it. And I have grown to enjoy those subjects. I listened to so many audiobooks about the coolness of chemistry trying to get myself pumped up. But I had a student in my class who was dyslexic and struggling through polyatomic struggling through even just balancing equations. And then doing orbitals. Yes. And it’s like, I just need you to be able to write out all these letters and numbers in a specific order to prove that, you know, kind of sort of what the shape is, that’s too complicated for us to even really understand and get into at this point. And there’s just already so much that

Rebecca 14:27
is the quantum number gibberish, or now we’re gonna talk about L and M and you’re just like, why Like, I literally am. I can’t let you said that because I had a student back when I did like private tutoring, who I tutored in chemistry who was dyslexic, and it was so hard and I hated it for her because she like it just made it made it so so hard. So I couldn’t agree more with you. It’s just like one of those things that like, again, I feel like sometimes we get so trapped in like the nitty gritty details that we have taken the joy out of like learning cool subjects and like chemistry can Be cool, but we like make it so painful that kids are scared of it,

Sam 15:03
we make them do sig figs, and we started things and then in two, you can’t even you can’t even really differentiate for something like that that’s out of a person’s control. And maybe they really do want to know and understand and love the rest of it. But you just beat them down and defeated, like, I can color code equations. And I can help them map out in like, huge ways how to do stuff like, but I, I can’t really show you any cool tips and tricks for visually understanding how to write all of these things out that are so long, so right,

Rebecca 15:37
there’s so long and then like, especially if you get into anything with like the F orbital, like then even on the internet, there’s like debate as to what would be right. And it’s like, this is just getting ridiculous. So my tip for dealing with it, first of all, what the quantum numbers is, like, I’m literally I like defined them with honors, I didn’t even mention it and CPE, I told them, you know, there are spin, whatever, when we talked about all the rules, I was like, they can’t have the same ones, whatever, I’m leaving it at that. And then I’m trying to make it fun with like, thinking of it a game or puzzle, like I’m trying to make chemistry more about teaching them how to problem solve than like actually learning content. And so I’m trying to approach you that way, I give them a reference sheet labeled periodic table with like s, p, d, f, all that. And then and also have like a little diagonal rule, like written out. So they can like, use that, like, I’m gonna give you that and just be like, I want you to focus more on like, using models like the periodic table, and seeing patterns. And that’s basically it. Like, I’m good with that. And then let’s move on. But that’s just my unset

Sam 16:37
box. One thing that if I teach chemistry again, which is still a possibility for me to go back and do next year, you never know. Now you really don’t, I had seen somebody share for that specific set, creating, essentially, the little mini clear cups that you use at like your bathrooms, yeah, and using pom poms for the electrons. So you basically create the cups in the shape of the little triangle that you’re going through. And then students can just start filling them up. And they’re labeled with what orbital it’s supposed to be so that you can see visually where all the electrons are going, you have different colors for different spins. And instead of trying to just plug and chug and memorize things and how it’s supposed to go, you can say okay, see how we’re filling this up in an order and make it more visual? For me chemistry. The hard part of it is I’m a visual person, and I call it an imaginary science. I know it’s real. It’s hard for me to see. Yeah,

Rebecca 17:35
yes. It’s so abstract. I couldn’t agree more. I love that. That sounds awesome. As a visual,

Sam 17:41
I’m all about the cheap visuals. Girl. You are fair, my favorite?

Rebecca 17:45
You’re saying, Okay, what’s another subject you got? You’re like, No, this is the worst. Okay, so

Sam 17:51
this is also controversial. I feel like we’re just going to be overboard with this. Teaching environmental science this year, another first for me, and also the first time in a physical science S class for my freshman that I also need to touch on some of the environmental impact. So I’ve taught this now twice this year, I kind of hate pollution units. And I fully understand it is a problem. I really do. And I, we go through it. And we talk about all the energy sources and why we’re really not shifting the ways that we think we should, it’s fast. And like I said, it came from a town that was surrounded by coal mines. So you have a lot of stuff going on there with people’s livelihoods. And it’s all just depressing. Yeah, there’s not like a whole lot of light in like, I can see where we’re going to improve. It’s all about, well, we haven’t done this, and we’re destroying this. And we’re ruining this. And it’s just hard to get kids to be like, I care enough to want to change this when it feels so big, that you You’ve literally can’t even wrap your mind around the fact that we’re destroying the planet. So like every once in a while, the first time I taught it was like, but the ozone hole is clearing up like it’s basically gone. We can’t even detect it. Look at us go. And now what I’ve done with my freshman is we started with this really great documentary. I found it on YouTube, but it’s a National Geographic, and it’s about Singapore, city of the future. And it talks about all of the ways that they’re using technology and forward thinking to combat the issues that we’ve already created for ourselves. So we start there. And then we start thinking about other ways that we can do small things to make a big impact. Because if you focus, it’s just so hard focusing on all the sad things and you know, killing off animals, because we like to use fertilizers and nuclear bombs. And I mean, you’re just not talking about a whole lot of stuff that people are happy with how And so giving them that but also giving them a chance to decide how each of the forms of energy can be a hero, and how we don’t have to see Do everything in such a negative light, like, what are some positives of everything, even if you don’t appreciate how certain fossil fuels are used, and what extent, you can still appreciate how far they’ve gotten us in industrialization, and where we’re going with it, and looking into the technology in the future, because we can ruminate on what’s happening, or we can be like, Hey, your job coming up could be creating all of these amazing outputs for what we’re going to do in the future. I mean, do you know we’re gonna go the mute the moon and find a more useful and efficient energy source for nuclear power than uranium, which is not friendly for people. Like we’re gonna be doing all these cool things. And that will be literally in your career path. So make it happy.

Rebecca 20:48
Yeah, I like agree, I didn’t even realize, then the more you’re talking about, I was like, Wow, it really is so depressing.

Sam 20:55
And you have to spend like, I mean, to really hit all the topics, you’re watching all these videos of things just being destroyed over time. And I mean, I’ve now spent two months of my school year talking about

Rebecca 21:09
David Attenborough’s our life on the planet is out. How is it our life and our planet?

Sam 21:14
So funny story, I have freshmen for essentially an extended study hall that our whole school takes, and they are so hyped up, because it’s right after lunch that I put that on in the background, and it suits them. They’re on their phone. Nice. Yeah, they’re just in like, you’ll just see all the animals swimming through the ocean shark attack, everyone’s awake for two minutes. And then they like go back to their peaceful, calm zone. So we’ve unintentionally watched it a lot.

Rebecca 21:40
I love that one. It is depressing. But I love that’s like my favorite more current one documentary on that. But I’ll I wanted to get that link from you. For the second part one,

Sam 21:49
I’ll play Yeah. And it’s so easy to make a creative project out of this because you can let them do like a shark tank style, invention, or just even I do current events all the time. I love doing current events. And so I’ll have them find a way that somebody’s combating environmental issues. Right now I’m doing a mega project with environmental science where they actually have to, like create an entire site in a video and a petition for like local, something local authorities in some capacity on how to change something at our level, so that it makes a bigger impact. And it’s just so fun to see how they can choose what they want to change. And like get into that, and realize that they can do something about it. So good.

Rebecca 22:33
I love that idea of the community aspect. I have like a human impact project that I’ve done for years, that they calculate their carbon footprint, and then they have to like try to do something for three weeks to decrease it. And he’s just trying to, like you said to make it not so depressing. So they can see like what they could do on their level. But I do think a lot of them, it’s actually one that they have a lot of fun with doing. I’ll never forget one of my students, Jacob rode his bike to school every day for three weeks. And he did like a video documentary for his like artifacts. And it rains. Like almost every day of the three weeks. It was insane, though he had the funniest videos, and we died laughing like him just like capturing his journey. But then he talks about like, he saved his gas and stuff, but it was great. But I like how you’ve taken it a step bigger and been like, let’s look at our community and what change can be made in our community. Even if it’s like, we’re gonna make bike paths so people can more safely ride a bike to work. If you have like a town that would be small enough for that. Yeah, that’s a cool idea. I like that.

Sam 23:35
It’s coming together really well.

Rebecca 23:36
You’re so creative. Well speaking in since we’re in like the life science mode, I’ll have to say for biology. Here’s the thing. I actually like teaching photosynthesis, I really do. But here I like teaching it my way, not the way that like every other person on the planet teaches photosynthesis. And that’s like, I don’t even like mention, really photosystem one photosystem. Two, I don’t really get into the enzymes or anything. Like I let them know that that’s that’s going down. But to me, I just think they get so lost in the details. Honestly, even more so cellular respiration, they get so lost in the details and like trying to keep track of like how many carbons they are and how many like come out of this debt versus that. And it’s like, at the end of the day, I want you to understand on a cellular level, the energy input and output and then I want you to understand how that contributes to energy input and output on a macro level. Like to me it’s all about that connection of that, like, again, I call my whole unit energy flow, like what’s going on cellular. How does that then impact as we get into like trophic, pyramids, food webs, etc. And so like my biggest recommendation for biology is like, look at your standards and really see how much detail you have to teach because I think so many people think because all the textbooks put it in an insane detail. They think they have to teach it but this insane detail and it’s like you probably don’t they probably use for exactly. And even AP I swear though with AP they’re more or less Giving you diet like even I’ll never forget some of the FAQ questions for it. And AP, they, they show you the whole diagram for the Calvin cycle with all the enzymes, and you’re just, if you could know nothing about it if you can just understand the diagram, and like be able to interpret it, you know. And so I would say, really look at your standard D, how much detail you have to do on it. And then I would say pullback, because like, kind of like you said, with the rocks and minerals, labs, I feel like a lot of people will do these photosynthesis labs I’ve talked about before the flooding leaf disc lab, and it just doesn’t hit home. And it can be a lot of prep and require a lot of materials and like, do they actually understand photosynthesis? Better? Yes or No, I don’t know, you can make that call for your class. I didn’t feel like mine did. I also felt like this dang, Spanish leaves only worked half the time. So I guess they weren’t photosynthesizing in my cup. But I really prefer I have this like really activity I do with them, where they kind of become photosynthesis. And they do it. And it’s so memorable. And I’m like such a big fan of, like you said, having some sort of visual experience. Even if it’s not like Labby that they do that actually helps them understand it better. Even if it isn’t like a we’re doing a lab on photosynthesis. I’m like a big fan of no labs for the sake of labs, like obviously, we need to do labs, but like, find the right ones. And don’t just like feel like you have to plug in a lab for every single topic. If like the lab you have sucks, do something different. That’s my soapbox, because the kids will

Sam 26:21
also call you out on it. And then they’ll start hating lab days. Yeah, because we don’t need that.

Rebecca 26:26
Well, because they’ll look back and be like, they just the lab days is like a day you’re not lecturing, but they don’t see any connection between the lab and what like they’re actually supposed to understand. And then then it’s just like such a waste of time. And for me, lobbies are so much energy in prep. So it’s like if we’re doing a lab, and most likely I’m paying for out of pocket. Y’all better learn and like, you know, and if you’re not, we’re not doing it.

Sam 26:48
So I will say I was fortunate enough when I taught biology that we did use your curriculum. Well, but I never did the photosynthesis relay. Okay, and I know it, I probably could have pulled it off. But I had two classes out of four, that I just You didn’t want it weren’t. It felt Yeah, you’re constantly with them. It was they were lost. So I one of the things we did the teacher that was I replaced had ordered all this Alodia I literally had no clue what to do with it. And it’s like you need for a metal blue or something I don’t know. And I said that’s too much for me. So instead, I created this weird fake version, where I had them counting bubbles of oxygen that came up. And they each had their own plant, they named their plant, they took care of their plant. And in groups, they went around to different stations with different light sources, different amount of like different amount of oxygen, and they had to count the bubbles over time. And so we had it by a window in a dark room, which don’t leave them unattended in the dark room. But like make sure you can see them, even like in the bathroom where there was just like less airflow. Yeah. And then under black light, and the black light went off. And they could not figure out why. So we were then talking about all of the reasons why the window light wasn’t working as well as the black light because you have the UV energy coming from the sun. That worked. So well. Did they still know the steps of photosynthesis? Nope. But they have to see it happening. And they got to try to figure out what was causing it and what was working. And I’ll never forget the year that I was teaching about the Calvin cycle and this kid goes, oh my gosh, Who names their kid Calvin and I was like, Well wait till you hear his whole name. I was pregnant with my son who we just decided to name Calvin. It was like that name? What about it? Uh huh. You’re like, I will always remember photosynthesis because of that.

Rebecca 28:42
Okay, that’s so funny. I love that. Also, I love that you just can’t I love that lab idea. That sounds amazing. And I also think like I said this in a previous episode on labs, like, I think there’s something to be said for doing lab one just because it’s fun, too, because they just like get to practice lab skills and work with stuff. Three, if it really helps them. Like, I think they got great skills from that. It sounds like great discussion. Great thinking. My whole point with labs is like if you’re doing it, and it’s not checking, like any of these boxes, and you’re exhausted, like maybe eliminate it, but I love that you did that. And that’s great. Also, I think it’s so funny. So that about the real activity, because I can’t tell you how many people have been like, I’ll get emails be like, I’ve used your curriculum for five years, and I just got brave enough to do the relay for the first time. And it was amazing. I can’t believe I’ve never done it. I’m like, I know. But I actually have gone back. I think two years ago, I went back and I added like five more support pages on it to like try to convince people to do it and like not be scared. It’s a good one. I just think it feels it’s not like it’s like a lot of prep because it’s just like water and paper but it just feels like a lot and it’s hard to understand till you’ve done it once you know. Yeah. So no judgment. I get that. What else do you have? What other subjects you got?

Sam 29:57
On the same line of biology? I personally, very much struggle with cell organelles. Yeah. And I can understand the value 100%. But all of the micro stuff with biology of all of the things that we find important, my dokkan mitochondria powerhouse of the cell, which is also inaccurate. Why are we doing this for so long. And I also to go with labs that are useless. Sorry, that was rude. When you have a student, make a food version of a sell. And all they do is Google. If you go to Google and you type in edible sell project, I can promise you out of the top 10 results that you get at least five of them are wrong. And I graded the same incorrect things on. Exactly, but it’s not that they don’t want to put the energy forth. But it’s like, how does that relate to actually caring about the content? And what’s happening? That and also, bridges in physics and physical science? I don’t like bridges. I’ll just leave it at that. That’s a whole different thing. But I prefer and I think I got it from one of your units, and I can’t remember which one it is. But just creating a children’s book. Yeah, that’s exploring, like, any topic, you can assign them at. Sure.

Rebecca 31:25
Yeah. I don’t feel like midterm review. That’s like my Yeah, I made my kids do it

Sam 31:29
for vocab review. And like being able to tell me how an atom is going through this whole thing where it thinks it’s unwanted because nobody wants to bond with it. And then it finds out it’s a noble gas, and it learns all these things about itself. And they’re so good. And you can do that for things like an edible cell project and replace it and say, you know, you’re Miss Frizzle shrinking down, taking the Magic School Bus on a journey of the sell. Tell me what you see. Tell me what’s going on with it. But please, don’t make me eat another cake that I’m not sure if it’s sanitary. And also the gold. I know all the all the things that are just so wrong, the rough ER, smooth ER, none of it. None of its ever right.

Rebecca 32:11
It’s so bad, I think yeah, I feel like though and organelles is hard, because they like definitely learn it in middle school, but like they don’t remember it. And it feels like you have to bring it back. I’d like the only way to make it not as painful for me is I’ve tried to like use my cells unit as already getting into this matters because of protein and proteins matter. And like, all I care about is you understanding how we’re going to make proteins because proteins are on your show,

Sam 32:34
which then doesn’t even need most of the organelles, right? Like, we can glaze them.

Rebecca 32:40
Let’s just focus on like, the most important type thing. Yeah. Because the more

Sam 32:44
in reality, we’re building them up for eventually just DNA and RNA. So let’s leave the rest not overdo the vocab for those first, like five units in IO because there’s no matter what you do, there’s a lot and that just so much some kids to the curb right there.

Rebecca 33:02
It is, especially like when you have your ELLs are English language learners. Golly, this is just like brutal to start off. Yeah, hate that for them. Okay, I gotta hear what your thoughts are on bridges. You just snuck that in here. I gotta know.

Sam 33:16
Okay, so the my first high school job I took over, and it was a department of too. So like, I technically took over my brother in law’s old classroom. There’s like one person in between. So the other science teacher was like, Okay, here’s all the things we’ve ever done in the past. And I have a problem with that. Because I admit to everybody that I know I have a problem with authority, and I don’t understand the point from the authority. And so on. You’re doing a good one. No, I’m a five wing six.

Rebecca 33:45
Oh, okay. Okay, I see that. Because once I’m a one in ones love rules, that makes sense. But if a rule doesn’t make sense, they’re like, I’ve literally disregard this entirely. Yeah, but that fits with your five. That makes sense.

Sam 33:57
I just I need to know why. Right. I can’t figure out why. So I did the edible sell. I hated it. I can’t. I know. And it was so and then, like, I created other things later on when I like got into the flow of it. That were more me like, did my celebration where we ended our cell. Yeah, the party and like a playlist of all the things that I could loosely relate to songs like, We’re never getting back together for mitosis. And I love that. That’s fun. i We tried and then like I had a birthday party, when we did all the DNA and stuff and they made their own babies. We did a whole two week, let’s make a baby lab. And we threw a birthday party for all the little babies and it was so fun. But when you tell me I have to do edible cells, and I didn’t like it. Then the next thing they told me was I had to do straw bridges for forces. And I just, I don’t like it. Also, it was right around the time when it was say the sea turtles and like paper straws and I didn’t want to hear that from freshmen for an end. Tire three week project, I was supposed to put out hot glue guns for three weeks. And it’s not that you’re teaching them how to reinforce a bridge, you’re not actually teaching them the structure, you’re just saying, hey, go make a bridge. And then I’ll teach you what’s going on with equal and opposite forces when we’re done and it breaks. And I don’t find that a valuable use of my time when I like physics, and I liked that side of it. And there are so many ways you can get that point across. Yeah, without building a dang bridge. And they just they really do just take so long, we were supposed to do it this year. And we spent almost a month on mousetrap cars, which also did not really relate to the law that they were supposed to be using them for. And then we did catapults without teaching them the law beforehand. And even afterwards, we just didn’t have time to like go through and analyze the whole thing. I’m all for a design project and like an engineering thing. But I’d rather spend time on Newton’s laws, having them have a really fun two week project, building a Rube Goldberg, letting them have their creativity. And then then labeling examples of each of Newton’s laws and how you have energy transfer and how you have different forces involved in being able to see a fun product that way, then forcing someone into a project that they’re also just going to Google and not actually take anything away from

Rebecca 36:27
nothing grinds my gears more either, not just when someone tells you what to do, but when they tell you how much time to spend on it. That is insane to me. Like obviously, when I do units, I give people unit plans and time estimates because people want it. But I only just want to put it I have that whole like preface statement. I’m sure no one reads it. And like my teacher notes. It’s like you do you like this is what I did mostly, but like obviously, this is flexible. Like some years it was different. Some it took longer, but like this is just to give you something because I know you’re going to ask, but to like tell someone you need to do something for three weeks, it just feels like crazy. Like you gotta be able to read the room. Yeah, be faster or move slower depending on their needs.

Sam 37:09
It’s just one of those things where again, we go back to make sure your lab is something that they’re going to take away and experience from, I will tell you one of the most profound labs that we did this year, literally was bubbles. I had juniors and seniors running around the room, blowing bubbles, trying to keep them alive to look at survivorship curves for a population. And there was like different limitations they had on them. And they were blowing 250 bubbles for this lab and keeping them alive as long as possible. And that was all it took. And they were hooked. They understood it, they got it. And they love that idea. Um, it was actually my department chair, she had this whole thing created and I’ve survived off of all of her environmental stuff. It was amazing. And so simple. I mean, you get six bubble ones, you’re done.

Rebecca 38:01
Love it. You should tell her she should have a TPT store and sell it. Oh, I have

Sam 38:05
I have converted, I think three teachers in my school. So far. Good. I love that putting in so much work,

Rebecca 38:12
thank you. We don’t need to go on like a rampage here about people to like give everything away for free. But I’m like there’s a difference between like these super created unique ideas that people are putting all this time and energy into.

Sam 38:23
And the thing is, you can find really great free resources. Yeah, you don’t have to if you don’t want to buy, but you’re also going to spend money on something that’s been quality tested people, you have reviews for it, and you know it’s going to fit. That’s one of the things I loved about like your curriculum, and I have Michelle’s curriculum. If I wanted to stick with all the stuff that’s in there, I can and I know it’s all going to flow perfectly. But I can also piece some things in from wherever I need to. But I already have a general outline, I have a general thing that works. And so many people have already said, Hey, all of this works.

Rebecca 38:56
So that’s my hard thing. Like my first few years teaching when I would try to find thing on the internet too. You might find something great, but like it will say a great lab but there’s no context, no background, like what do I need to do the day before to prep? What should I be expecting? What are students struggle with? That’s like a whole extra thing, you know, but again, we don’t need to go to a page. Hold on. Okay. I want to say an anatomy thing. And I feel like this is an another controversial topic. I don’t like teaching about tissues. And I don’t like memorizing bones and muscles. I just feel like and this isn’t I got for my sister for you at me on Instagram. She’s a surgeon. She told me when I was writing my anatomy curriculum, she was like Rebecca, any person that’s going to go into any medical field is going to have many courses of anatomy in the future. She’s like the best thing you can do for them is get them excited about the body and interested in it not bore them to tears with memorization and all these details because they’re gonna have to memorize as in college and stuff. anyways, and yeah, like, it’s good that they just seen the words before and stuff, but like, they’re not most likely gonna retain a lot of that knowledge anyway going in. So you might as well just get them super fired up and interested about it. And I love that. And I carried that all the way through. And I feel like tissues is hard because I feel like of course, all of anatomy is like form dictates function. And that goes all the way down to the tissue level, like I get it. But I just still like, I think I’m honestly just traumatized at like, looking at 800 tissue slides under a microscope and having to draw them and being like, this is so yeah, so my advice for dealing with it is like, obviously teach it, introduce it, for sure. Bring it up every unit like bring up why when you’re in muscle contractions, why you have these different kinds of you know, tissues, but really focus on the big picture, don’t again, it’s kind of like with like the Sikh faith don’t get lost in the weeds, we’re getting lost in the weeds, because we’re trying to teach you these standards. And instead, we’re like losing sight of just engaging them in the content, like I would rather cut out time on tissue. So I can have more time for my reproduction unit. Because I think it’s like the most important unit we teach in anatomy is teach these fools what’s going on in their bodies so they can understand. So many of them just have like no idea how their bodies work. And I just feel like especially as as I’ve aged, and as I became mom, you are in the healthier, like your life used to advocate for your health and your kids health, so much. So like we need to equip them to know things so that they know what questions to even ask.

Sam 41:27
And I was so surprised when I have found out how little actual reproductive health is taught in a health class anymore. And it’s all they said, it’s pretty much like nutrition in screentime. So I’ve never taught anatomy and I am blessed to not be licensed to teach it in my school, and I’m

Rebecca 41:48
dealing with it hurts me because I’m now fine.

Sam 41:52
I 100% understand and believe in all the sciences, but I’ve never broken a bone. So I like to still believe that I’m just a well formed pile of goo and there’s nothing under there that’s going to cause problems. So I have some anatomy students. And I’ve always tried to push people to take anatomy senior year, because I’m like, the only real benefit to you is if you carry any of that to college, right? And you want to go into those. But what you said really struck because I have so many kids who are taking it. And they’re just tired, so tired of going through every single little thing. And I think back to I mean, so I’ve now taught a very well funded public school. And I taught at Title One schools where we didn’t even when COVID happened, we didn’t have internet for our students in most of their locations to do any work. And I went to a pretty well respected engineering school. And I just remember, I took calc three in high school, like I felt so confident going in. And then there were these kids who literally had never had the ability to take a calculus class never had physics before. But because they were so inspired by their teachers in high school for whatever content they were in, they knew they were going to get that content in college, but they came in with the motivation to learn it and stick with it. Because they were so they were just in awe of all the things you could do with math and science. And they didn’t have to have all of the nitty gritty details, they were able to still go through and learn it with like a zest because it feels more important in college. And it feels like that’s the time that you need to go into it. But I think it’s so true. Like if you don’t inspire them in high school, then it’s not going to matter. Because they won’t go and follow through with it later on. So you’re just gonna waste their time and all this energy because there’s so much energy that goes into memorizing all those things, right, that they’re then going to just lose all care for. Yes.

Rebecca 43:43
And my thing is, like, if it’s fun for you go for it. But to me, it’s not fun. So I’d rather save the time. And like, I get like it’s not like anatomy and physiology is supposed to be a health class. But like, I’m also like, but it’s how cool is that if we teach them CPR if we teach them how to do a tourniquet if, like, you know, they understand how the cycle and a biological female works. So they can actually understand when someone’s ovulating slash could actually get pregnant. Because they’re, and then they can also learn the science behind it. Like, it’s not like, oh, let’s just learn how to do a tourniquet billets, like learn why it works. And it’s such a cool opportunity. And I also feel like, a lot of students don’t ask questions in health class, because it’s like, you don’t want to be the person asking questions and health class. But when it’s like, oh, we’re in science, I can ask a science question, but like, still kind of gave me answers. I don’t know. It just feels like a little bit safer. So that’s kind of my tangent about anatomy. And anatomy is typically an elective. So it’s like, why are we making it so painful when 90% of the states you can kind of do whatever you want?

Sam 44:44
And you kind of think through like two because I think about it with physics all the time because there is so much math and detail that you can go into with it. But what is the end goal of most of these kids like they’re not like it’s it’s an elective. They’re not taking it just to take it some of them might be taking it because they know they’re gonna have to take in college. So it’s like nice to have it ahead of time. But really, you’re trying to inspire those people to continue that education further. So if you know that a lot of people, a lot of people in anatomy are trying to go and become a physical therapist, then like, geared towards the things that they would actually need to apply that knowledge towards, and then they’re going to get into it enough where maybe they can survive through some of the things that are just a struggle for everybody else. And like in physics, I will try to give them a design project, because for the people who are going to take it further, they’re looking at engineering, and they need to have that mindset where they can apply the things into something that they’ve never seen or done before.

Rebecca 45:39
Yeah, and like helping them really see what they’ll actually do. Like, I feel like so many kids are like, I want to be a PA, I want to be a nurse, I want to be an engineer, it’s like, do you know like you actually do for that. And that’s where it’s like, so interesting and like, create so much of an opportunity to expose them to the real stuff. And again, like you said, try to inspire them. And then from there, like their college teachers will teach them all that other stuff, it’s fine.

Sam 46:04
And basically, the whole, the whole point that we’re trying to boil down to is, if you’re not inspired by it, and you can’t find a way to be inspired by your students aren’t going to be inspired by it. So sometimes it’s okay to take your personal ideas and thoughts around your subject and make some of your only way towards one thing or another and add in some more detail, take out some more detail. And if your students seem excited, and it’s a topic you hate, dislike, sorry, hates. So then I love having student led projects where they’re going to be the ones saying, Okay, I’m interested in this. So let me choose a topic, let me research and present and become the master on it. Or let me do a poster, let me create a fun video to help people understand and let them take the reins. Because if they want to do that, then you can’t deny them that right, you want to give them that opportunity. But it doesn’t mean you have to be the one to go step by step through the content that just does not feel right. You’re like,

Rebecca 47:07
make make it do something, show me your learning, make me care about it. That’d be a great project. They really care about this topic that you like, they really care about those rocks and minerals that you’re willing to do.

Sam 47:18
It reminds me every year I, when I’m teaching anything about space, you always have those one or two who are like, Oh, what about flat earth and I just tell them, if you can prove to me effectively that the earth is flat, I will excuse any missing work, I will give you an A, you will leave here with a 95%. And all you had to do is give me a solid presentation that the earth is flat. Nobody ever takes me up on it, they try a couple of times. But like if they’re willing to be that passionate about and they were gonna go through and they could find solid evidence, that is science right there. 100 is researching putting something together communicating it gosh, the communication piece, I think is the most important thing in all the stuff that they can practice communicating in any of the projects, any of the units, they’re winning. That’s it and we need to compete better

Rebecca 48:07
backing up what they’re communicating with evidence. I couldn’t agree more I can’t and like I feel like students will come at you with something and I’m very quick to defend like it’s in my nature. And I try to go the opposite and do what you said and at and go the other way. Why don’t you show me your evidence, and I’ll hear you out. You can actual evidence at the table, but it’s like they just saw something on Tik Tok. And now they think it’s science. And they don’t have any real evidence.

Sam 48:33
I’ve had so many people pull up tic TOCs in class this year. And I’m like, Okay, can you find me a reliable source? Because I spend at least a week teaching them about reliable sources every single year. You find me a reliable source and I would love to look it over with you. I would love to learn more about it. Right? And then they’ll go through and be like, oh, yeah, no, didn’t do that. Or they’ll now start pulling up Tik Tok. So like, okay, so I fact check this and it was on like, science news and had all these things. And Neil deGrasse Tyson was talking about it. And so I know that you want to see this tick tock. It’s super cool. And I know it’s true. I’m like, Yeah, sure. Totally.

Rebecca 49:07
Oh, that was great. And of your project, like find a tick tock that’s gone semi viral. And fact check it.

Sam 49:14
You got to be careful with it though, because I did try that with the whole east Palestine train derailment. For environmental science. I told him I was like, I want you to find on two different social medias, I want you to find just five posts about it. And then we’re going to fact check it. And it was just so far enough into it, that everything was true. And so that was not my best factchecking moment, but it was still a good exercise because we they did still have to go through and make sure that everything was good, but

Rebecca 49:41
totally and I always have her I always get a little nervous especial media because like someone’s parents are gonna freak out. He mentioned social media cuz they’re anti it or someone’s gonna be grounded. So it’s hard but it really is like, that’s where people are getting their information. So it’s so important to not ignore it. Okay, any other They’re topics that you’re like, I gotta get this off my chest, now’s the time and space.

Sam 50:04
Let’s see what else have I taught? I don’t think there’s any other topic necessarily. I will say the one big thing that I’ve taken this year, I can’t even remember who said it. But it was so great. It was this idea. I think I was talking with our chemistry teacher at school. The idea that we really need to tell our students when it comes to any science we’re doing, that we’re teaching them the best that we know now, in that there’s always more information out there. And I’m thinking even just huge space person, like the James Webb Space Telescope, has literally derailed so many big concepts about space. I mean, the big bang theory is most likely wrong. Now, how many of us have like had that as an integral part of our childhood is talking about the Big Bang Theory and singing the theme song and watching all these things that’s happened. And now it might be completely wrong. And so going through and saying, even when it comes to atoms, like we’re learning way more and more about atoms, if you look at not even 100 years ago, we had a different model for how the atom looked. And so just showing them that whatever I’m teaching you now, you need to have an open mind that I’m probably lying to you. But science is about doing the best you can with what you have. And then when we learn more, we improve what we know. And that’s why scientists are so excited to be proved wrong. Because then we have more like we have more information than we ever had before. We have unraveled the mystery somewhere. So yes, in like another 10 years, the stuff I’m teaching you right now, might not only be never applied in your everyday life, but it might be wrong. But that’s what’s so interesting about what we’re doing right now is we’re learning about what we do know, knowing that we’re going to find out more

Rebecca 51:46
well, and what’s so crazy is as you’re saying that I’m thinking that’s really a life skill, because like that’s parenting, I’m doing the best I can right now with what I know with how many kids I have in the ages they are, but I’m sure in 10 years, I’ll be doing things totally different. Because I have acquired so much more experience, so many learn so many new things. That is a life skill, you know, doing the best you can’t, but also holding things loosely, and being able to live in that kind of tension.

Sam 52:10
Yeah, and I think it allows you a lot, especially in teaching, I could struggle my way through biology, the first time I taught it, which I hadn’t taken it for, like 15 years. So I was going through and trying to reteach as I went. And then as you go on, you get better. So as a first year teacher, you’re gonna mess up, you’re gonna make mistakes, you’re gonna do things wrong. And as long as you know that you’re doing the best that you can with what you have. And you know, you’re gonna get better. Like that first year, you’re still doing what you can and what you need to do. And no kid is going to sit there and recall everything you say, and like, be like, Oh, I remember that teacher. 15 years ago, she totally lied to us, she was totally wrong. They’re not going to do that. They’re going to try to take your enthusiasm and your excitement for the things that you did teach and that you enjoyed, and take it into the world with them. Hopefully, that’s what we all hope for

Rebecca 52:57
100% I mean, I’ve interviewed now my my own chemistry teacher a couple times on this podcast, and I cannot believe the first time I interviewed him that he told me like, I didn’t realize I think I was like his second year teaching. He was my teacher. And I did not know, like, to me, he was like this experience knew everything teacher like and that’s where I just think our students perceptions of us are often a lot different than the actual reality and give yourself some grace man 1,000% I love it. Okay, well, I’ve asked you this before, but I’m going to ask you again, if there’s anything new, because ask all my guests, if there is any way that you have are simplifying your life right now. And you want to share with listeners, always. So you are wise, I know you got something good.

Sam 53:40
Yep, I have a podcast all about adding simple steps into your routine that simplify your life.

Rebecca 53:47
Business. And I voted for that because I love the alliteration when you named it I’ll link in the show notes.

Sam 53:52
But I recently have had to go through and give myself grace and realize that as a shift of actual literal seasons are happening, I had to take a step back and realign what was happening in my day. And so to simplify my own life, I had to let go of all of the things I had been doing all of the like patterns I’d gotten into and anything that I felt like you know, Monday is the stain Tuesday is the stain we’re getting all through it. Well now we have soccer practice. Now my kids want to be outside in the park and now my students are antsy. So we have to take a day outside and things just get thrown off because I can’t take grading out in the wind. I can’t go do all these things I used to be able to sit inside and do. And so simplifying, by letting myself reschedule has been the best thing. I just had to sit down and say what are my top three priorities? Here’s my schedule for it, and map out anytime that I can for those and that’s maybe only gonna last me a couple of months maybe only until the school year and then I have to redo it again. But allowing yourself to say no, this season is new season. Let me start fresh. It’s one of the best things you can do is not holding yourself to things that you thought were the only way it’s gonna it’s gonna work.

Rebecca 55:06
I cannot agree more I love that’s a lazy genius Kendra hdaci One of her like lazy genius principles that living in your season and I’ve talked about that on here before that like, as science teachers like we know nature, we know how nature works and seasons. We even see our school year has like seasons to it, why do we not apply that same seasonal aspect to how we like like you said, do our jobs and different seasons of our jobs and and our jobs with our outside life, prioritize different things. Like maybe there’s a quarter like you said, maybe quarter threes a quarter that you’re like grading every single little thing because it’s cold and it’s dark, you’re not going outside r&d as much stuff. So you have more capacity. Great. But quarter four is like the end of the year. Like you’re not, you’re like I’m just gonna cut back on grading. That’s fine. Changing your priorities at the seasons, I think is really, really wise.

Sam 55:53
I love order for is my creative project season at school.

Rebecca 55:57
Yes. And that’s so great for your students, because they’re so over probably sitting in their desks and going through lectures and all of that. Mm hmm. I love that Sam Well, I’m just so glad he came back. Such a treat for me to talk to you. As always,

Sam 56:12
I’m still waiting for our little retreat.

Rebecca 56:14
I know, we got to do a retreat. I know. I’m like, hopefully, I hope people resonate with this and don’t judge us. And I hope you just hear exactly how Sam like summarize it perfectly. We just want to encourage you to teach what inspires you as much as best you can within your standards and limitations that you have.

Sam 56:31
And if you love those things, if you are a Becca and you love rocks and minerals, then keep putting, keep putting that energy out because somebody else is gonna be inspired by it somewhere that somebody needs it. And that’s, that’s why we all do different things differently because we all have our own little special talents. And just because I think rocks and minerals is probably the worst month of my life doesn’t mean that

Rebecca 56:58
every year. You’re gonna have to tell me one year when you finally have a class schedule where you’re not teaching it in one of your preps

Sam 57:06
right now I’m not, which is fantastic. And I am supposed to be on the curriculum committee that rewrites the earth standards into our freshman science. And I literally looked at our curriculum director and I said, I will not be a part of this if we include rocks and minerals. And she said, Oh, we won’t. So I have high hopes. high hopes.

Rebecca 57:24
I love that. Well, thank you so much. I’m really grateful for your time. Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode. In my interview with Sam, we mentioned a ton of resources we use and all of those are linked in the show notes at isn’t rocket science classroom.com/episode 78. You can also find all the links to where you can connect to Sam and listen to her podcast. Check out her YouTube channel, Instagram or TPT store in those show notes. So be sure again to head isn’t rocket science classroom.com/episode 78 Alright, teacher friends that wraps up today’s episode. If you’re looking for an easy way to start simplifying your life as a secondary science teacher, head to It’s not rocket science classroom.com/challenge to grab your classroom reset challenge. And guess what? It’s totally free. Thanks so much for tuning in and I’ll see you here next week. Until then, I’ll be really free teacher friend.

More Podcast Posts

Grab your FREE Classroom Reset Challenge

Not sure where to begin simplifying your teaching life? Start by reseting your classroom! Get the step-by-step checklist you need here!

Submit your email address to receive your FREE Classroom Reset Challenge from INRS!