I've spent the first quarter of this year trying to figure things out, make few waves, and follow the biology teacher next door. Doing so has distanced me a bit from the vision and intent of the NGSS. The NGSS was not designed to be a list of content to be covered; it is a re-visioning of how science is taught. This week, I'm going to embark on bringing this new vision into my classroom. I may make more waves that I wanted to, and I'm certainly charting my own course, but I'm going to do my best to be true to the NGSS.
I am so thankful for the people doing the curriculum work at Next Generation Storylines for the work they've done. They have created an entire biology curriculum designed around all of the high school life science standards. I'll be using one of their units starting tomorrow.
What I'm looking forward to. . .
- Getting back to having students make sense of their world.
- Phenomena-based instruction
- Less focus on students' knowing a bunch of stuff
- Students doing science
What I'm nervous about
- Students' adjusting to this kind of instruction
- Dealing with student apathy (Student interaction is required for this kind of science to work)
- Making too many waves in the department (I'm the new guy, after all)
- Juggling all the feedback
- Ensuring that students are doing the mental heavy-lifting