jump to navigation

Hints from the wise: Bringing up boys June 1, 2013

Posted by Geek 20/20 in Teaching.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

Being a sister of two brothers has effected how I interact with male students.

Rule One: Once I start screaming they stop listening. My male siblings immediately ‘zone out’ when my pitch begins rising.

Rule Two: Remain firm when you give instructions

Case study 1: What not to do

“Miss, can I go toilet”

“No, you should have gone during break” I reply

Ten minutes later…

“Can I go now, Miss”

“Umm, not yet” I’m weakening

Five minute later…

“You said I could, Miss” The student begins hoping up and down

“Yeah go ahead.”

Case study 2: What should have happened

“Miss, can I go toilet”

No, you should have gone during break” I reply

Ten minutes later…

“Can I go, Miss”


“It’s not far just down the corridor”

“If the was at the back at the room it wouldn’t matter. Go and sit down”

Five minutes later…

“Miss, can I go now”

“What did I tell you before?”

The student repeats my earlier statement in a mumble.

Rule Three : Give lots of praise and be genuine. A simple “Good thinking!” goes a long way. It is better than false gushing!

I’m sure there are more. let me know what your ‘rules’


Todays Google Doodle (2) February 19, 2013

Posted by Geek 20/20 in Science, Teaching.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment
Today is Nicolaus Copernicus 540th birthday.Quiet Monumental!

Today is Nicolaus Copernicus 540th birthday.
Quite Monumental!

The first time I heard about the work of Copernicus was in a History of Science class in University. I really enjoyed the journey through time looking at Science. Recently, I did something similar with a Yr7 class. We looked at the history of the magnets and magnetism. The students had a lot of questions and we finished with the making a compass practical.

Any subject could be Scientific!

Pencils Down … January 15, 2013

Posted by Geek 20/20 in Lifestyle, Teaching.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment


It is exam season – A time I remember with fondness. At this time I am glad I’m a supply teacher and my student days are behind me.

In what way do exams prepare one for the ‘world of work’? Not really as I haven’t taken a test since graduation. Yet whenever I’m asked a question the same thudding heartbeat rings in my ears.

“Miss, how come …”

Thought 1: I haven’t the foggiest

Thought 2: I really should know this

Thought 3: Why don’t I know the answer? Gasp! My brain has expired.

Thought 4: Who cares that I don’t know. If I were a genius I wouldn’t be doing this job 😛

I say sweetly, “That’s a great question. How about you google it when you get home. [insert famous Scientist here] life’s work was on this topic”

Accurate recall under pressure

Why do I miss this?

Possibly, I’m haunted by the trill of being high on adrenaline.

Mostly, fretting over uni exam is a minor stress trigger compared to rent, work, health etc.

Truly, I gained confidence by being able to share my hopes and fears with my classmates. That camaraderie is hard to find these days.

An Ode to a ‘Supply’ October 17, 2012

Posted by Geek 20/20 in Lifestyle, Teaching.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

I’m not a poet so this is technically not a poem.  Most of the time my posts are inspired by my work and this is no exception.

It was 7:26am

Ms Locum stood by her front door

She went through her mental check list

Two dozen pens – Check

A baker’s dozen pencils – Check

A piece of fruit, dried soup and a sachet of hot cocoa – Check

Ms Locum is a supply teacher


It was a crisp autumn day

Cool blue skies with tints of sunrise red

She walked quickly toward station

Then sprinted when she the thunder of an approaching train

Ms Locum is a supply teacher


It was a typical old style building

Ancient red brick, pipes along the corridor wall

‘I could be in any decade’ she thought

As she tailed the office staff to the classroom

Ms Locum is a supply teacher


It was year nine class

There would always be a year nine class

In they came, high on crisps and sweets after morning break

Some greeted her cheerfully

Some swore, startled by the new face

Others jostled and shoved

One or two slammed the door against the wall

Ms Locum is a supply teacher


It was a trick she learned from another teacher or maybe a book

“Good Morning” She said directly to each student as they came in

Her smile was wide and inviting

The wave of hostility receded

Then she stood in the front waiting for silence

Her smile vanished

Ms Locum is a supply teacher

A Headful of Goodies July 11, 2012

Posted by Geek 20/20 in Science, Teaching.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

I saw this poster at a station

On Sunday, two young friends and I braved the downpour  and went to the Summer Science Exhibition. It was worth the soaking!

My favourite exhibits were

  • Probing our cosmic origins with ALMA: In the northern desert of Chile several countries have collaborated the build this giant array of fifty antenna. ALMA has high spatial and velocity resolution and high sensitivity. Now scientists can observe the formation of stars planets and galaxies. Since the telescopes can detect wavelengths emitted in these regions of space. I found this so exciting!
  • Insect Birth Control: Several deadly diseases (malaria/ dengue fever) are transmitted by insects (mosquitoes). Current methods of pest control often destroy the ecosystem as other lifeforms also die. Scientists have successfully reduced the mosquito population on a certain island. Releasing thousands of sterile males into the wild over a short period of time. Within several months the insects decreased by eighty percent!
  • POP! The sound of bubbles: We played the bubble organ which demonstrated the size of a bubbles and the pitch. Larger bubbles have lower pitch.

I was able to talk to several scientists about their work and If you want to find out more please visit the Royal society website.