Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What Kind Of Teacher Am I?

Welcome To Introduction to Physics and Engineering Design (IPED)

I have only two simple rules but they account for a lot.

#1 Respect each other, me and the wonderful opportunities that XXX High School offers you. Really, this is a big deal. In order for you to learn and for me to guide you through IPED you need to be respectful of your peers. This can be as simple as arriving on time or as hard as not blurting out a joke that may not be appreciated by us all. If you respect this class you’ll be prepared at all times. You’ll have with you the following:
➢ Your covered textbook
➢ Your composition notebook and a folder for handouts and corrected homework
➢ Your homework neatly organized and finished
➢ A pen and a pencil (an eraser would be nice, no White Out!)
➢ A calculator
I believe that every student is excited to be here and ready to learn however there are times when we’re just not at the top of our game. Honest mistakes will be made but if you keep rule #1 in mind it will likely be forgiven. Unfortunately some students don’t follow the rules. They’re late, chronically unprepared, rude, careless to the point of dangerous, I hear a cell phone ringing or the student simply doesn’t care at all. These are signs of disrespect and will be met with a teacher detention or other more appropriate forms of disciplinary action.

#2 I am the captain of this ship. I am judge, jury and executioner. I am your fearless leader. In short, I am in charge. However respect (rule #1) is a two way street. I will give you the same respect that I expect from you. I promise to always be fair. I do not assign homework as “busy work” and I will not give quizzes as punishment. It’s my goal as an educator for this course to strike a balance between easy & fun and rewarding & challenging. I will admit my mistakes and correct them quickly. There are no stupid questions and in real life there are often questions with no obvious answers. If I have to answer a question with “I don’t know” you can trust that I will write it down and after class find a way for us to answer it together.

IPED is a challenging area to study but it can be greatly simplified if we keep organized and focused. I don’t consider it my job to teach you IPED. It’s my job to educate you and guide you as you learn. It’s not your job to do homework and take tests to get a good grade. It’s your job to impress me with your new knowledge of science. This is your education and you should take full advantage of it. It’s my goal to give you the sense of ownership within this class that comes from the pride of knowing your hard work is worthwhile and respected. I will give you the freedom to make mistakes, learn from them and discover how to avoid them in the future.

Class Policy

No food or drink in the classroom or lab ever. The lab is not a good place to be touching anything that you plan on eating. It’s simply not safe. Mentos, Altoids and gum are food.

Lab safety is extremely important. When I say eye protection is needed and you’re not wearing it properly, you will not get a second chance. No warning. You will be removed from the lab and take a zero for the day. Contact lenses are allowed but I must be informed at the start of each lab if you’re wearing them. Shoes not sandals are strongly recommended. Shorts and skirts should reach the knee. I will assign a person who will ‘police’ each lab and make sure that benches are left clean and with all items returned to their proper place. This is mandatory and will be considered part of your class participation grade.

In order to be organized and facilitate the study of IPED you will need the following:
➢ Your covered textbook
➢ A composition notebook with graph paper sheets
➢ A 3 ring binder with paper (not a spiral bound notebook)
➢ A folder for handouts
➢ A pen and a pencil
➢ A calculator
➢ Optional items would be a stapler, eraser, 3 hole punch and sheet covers
➢ At no time will White Out ever be acceptable, ever. Don’t even bring it

Homework and most lab reports should be done in your graph paper composition book. These will be graded check +, check or check -. To get a “check +” you must have the correct answers and show all your work or explain how you chose your answers. A “check –“ will be given for lack of effort, poor understanding and wrong answers.

Other assignments, tests and quizzes will be graded on a point scale to be announced when they are given.

Grading will be as follows:
o Tests, projects 30%
o Quizzes 20%
o Labs 30%
o Homework 20%
o Class participation 20%
These numbers add up to 120%. It will be possible to get an A on sheer hard work and talent alone. However I realize there are intangible qualities such as class participation, turning around a slump or putting in extra effort and extra credit that can turn a D into a C+ or a B+ into an A. This will be a subjective determination made by me. I will never use it to lower a student’s grade. See rule #2. I’ll make it fair. There’s no bell curve in my classroom. In order to give an A I don’t need to give a C or D. If everyone earns an A I will give all A’s. I’m not stingy however I don’t inflate grades. I expect to give very few A’s. You do need to earn them. If at any time you feel that I misjudged your work speak with me for clarification. If I’ve overlooked something I will fix it. Don’t let a bad grade slide without asking what went wrong and how it can be avoided in the future. Don’t expect to argue your way to a better grade. I’m sure you’d make a fine lawyer but it won’t work with me (see the second sentence in rule #2.)

Calculators – use any calculator you like for any assignment, quiz or test. I realize the graphing calculators especially the TI-8x series are programmable and an excellent way to make a “cheat sheet”. Trust me it won’t help you and you won’t need a cheat sheet anyway.

All make-up work must be made up within 5 business days of the missed assignment. If an exam or quiz is missed for an excused absence you must make arrangements with me to schedule your make-up exam. You are in charge of your own make up work. I will not hunt you down. There will be a zero in your grade average and it will not impress me when considering your class participation grade.

Cheating will not be tolerated.


Blogger TommyOkktane said...

"There’s no bell curve in my classroom."

Amen, brother. Amen.

Sep 5, 2006, 10:10:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin Wolf said...

Reading this made me sooooo glad I'm no longer in school!

BTW, Mentos are not food and that was, ironically, proved in a lab.

Good luck with class.

Sep 6, 2006, 9:15:00 AM  
Blogger RicketyFunk said...

"Dear Student, I'm deathly alergic to white out. If I'm anywhere near it, I'll break out into shrieking hives like the ghost of Haley Joel Osment."

It reminds me of a friend of mine who's "deathly alergic to pickles" anytime we eat out.

We all know that sniffing white out will not make you "high," it only makes you stupid.

Sep 6, 2006, 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger RicketyFunk said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Sep 6, 2006, 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger RicketyFunk said...

I also like how you say you will not hunt them down. It's always good to lull them into a false sense of security and then BAM! hit 'em right between the eyes with a taser with enough current to make them evacuate their bowels in front of all their friends. How embarassing.

Or did they do away with capital punishment in schools? It's been so long.

(sorry, couldn't help myself)

Sep 6, 2006, 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger coffeesnob3 said...


Sep 6, 2006, 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Dean ASC said...

You're thinking of corporal punishment. Yes I can't do that.

Sep 6, 2006, 7:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Adorable Girlfriend said...

I would be your best student and also the most likely to fail. Dude, you are harsh!

Sep 7, 2006, 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger Dean ASC said...

No, I'm just very clear with my expectations. They've got their own ideas about how they're not going to pay any attention to me anyway.

Sep 7, 2006, 10:21:00 PM  
Blogger RicketyFunk said...

According to Wikipedia (which is never wrong!!!) corporal punishment (yes, I took the time to look up the difference between capital and corporal punishment so I would get it right.) is legal in your fair commonwealth.

Now, I wouldn't suggest using it without first consulting with some attorney as to if that argument would stand up in court.

Sep 11, 2006, 4:34:00 PM  
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