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A lot of people ask about pros and cons of the Warner school – one thing that I think I would certainly improve is a way to see what classmates are doing in their placements, and possibly offer “student teacher swaps,” a possible one day opportunity to go to someone else’s placement and be a “guest lecturer.” This would be awesome especially in a middle school setting, where many different topics are covered and we all show strengths in different areas of our respective sciences. It is almost as if, however, our student teaching lives exist on planets that aren’t similar to each other’s, which begs the question: what’s going on in that person’s life? Is their experience significantly different than mine? To make a loose parallel that was brought up quite a bit in an opportunity I had today, it is almost like asking what life is like on another planet: is it the same as we know it from our specific perspectives?

Today, before our EXPO, I had the opportunity to go to School of the Arts to give my “famous” black hole lecture. This school was where Sharon did her middle school placement, and so the kids were able to relate to me because “I knew Ms. Dudek.” The cooperating teacher was a phenomenal individual who commended me very much on my lecture and my knowledge of the content. It was nice to be able to offer this kind of lecture to students, which I will comment on in a bit here, but I think that it’s odd that we stress collaboration so much, but these opportunities never really come about, certainly no fault of anyone, as we are just all so busy. But this opportunity to speak to seventh graders emitted from Jo Ann’s kindness is stating to Sharon’s CT that she “knew just the person” to be able to talk about black holes to students.

I started first period with my lecture and was then asked to participate in subsequent lectures, highlighting students questions about their prior knowledge regarding space through a post-it activity. The outpour of questions from both the honors groups and the general science groups was truly remarkable, and I had such an amazing experience with the students there. It would be awesome to be able to do this, almost as a requirement maybe for seminar or for the 3 credit science classes – it would not have to be a large fraction of the grade, but it was interesting to see a different group of students react to the black hole talk. I have given it so many times, and this group’s questions far exceeded the expectations I would ever have for seventh graders.

I am looking forward to the opportunity to return to SOTA again and see how their astronomy knowledge is progressing while acting as an expert in astrophysics to enhance the knowledge and research they will obtain throughout the unit.

Shoutout again to Jo Ann for setting up such an opportunity for me.

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