Fashionably late bacteria = more teaching opportunities

I had planned to do a lab on Tuesday with some bacteria I had ordered last week that should have been here today, but due to the snowstorm around the country, the delivery got pushed back to tomorrow at 4:30 pm. I was annoyed and spent a good chunk of my free time coming up with a plan b…which I couldn’t figure out since the bacteria have such a rigid timeline in order to grow JUST so you can even use it in a lab in the first place (yeah, they’re pretty picky). Fastforward to just an hour ago- I sat down to try to materialize a lesson for tomorrow out of thin air when the solution became so easy. Instead of me doing the prepwork (I’ll save everyone the nerdy bio details), I’ll be having the kids do it themselves in class. I reasoned that in college (this is the AP equivalent class, all seniors), they would have to make their own starter colonies anyway…I’d be teaching them a really useful skill. I also reached out on the NSTA listserv for some advice, and I was surprised that so many teachers responded with very supportive and encouraging answers. It felt good to know I’m not really alone in planning out this new course. So basically…I think I made some (really good) lemonade out of lemons today!

This week is Spirit Week at school, and a few of my students decided for “Twin Day” tomorrow, they’d like to be twins with me (even though I guess it’s technically triplets since it’ll be three of us). I was amused at first, until I realized they were totally serious- at which point I got sooo excited and into it! They sent me an email and everything is planned, down to our hairstyles. Normally I stay away from being too much of a peer with my students, but now that I’m getting further into my teaching career and more established, I think I’m starting to differentiate when it’s okay and when it could be too far. I was also really touched by how excited THEY got when I agreed!



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