Why blog about teaching physics?
I've got several reasons that I want to start this blog. The first is simply to document what I am doing on a regular basis, both for my sake and for the sake of anybody who cares to note what I am doing (peers, parents, supervisors, and perhaps even students). This may help others to understand the pacing and order of my courses, but primarily it's just to make it easier for me to plan and improve in the future.
I've been teaching for a few years now, and I've gotten to the point where I feel that I am competent. Now I would like to elevate beyond simple competence. I want to be a better physicist and a better teacher. I repeatedly tell students to document their purpose, procedure, results, and conclusions in their lab notebooks in real time, but I haven't been doing this myself. I think it's time to change that, so this will serve as my lab notebook for class, with the aim that I learn from my experiences and deliver each lesson better next year than I did last year.
I'd like to thank Greg Jacobs for being the impetus for this move. I've blogged before in many different places on many different topics, but I had refrained from wedding this practice to my profession for some reason. Reading Greg's blog Jacobs Physics got me thinking that I could be ready to use a blog as a tool for communicating with many people. If you are interested enough to have read this far into the post and you have any questions or requests, please share them.
A quick blurb about me: I teach at JR Tucker High School in Henrico, Virginia since 2003. I currently teach AP Physics B as a first-year physics course and AP Physics C Mechanics as a second-year physics course (visit our class website). I also teach Conceptual Physics and in years past I have taught Regular-level high school physics and chemistry. I am a Nanotechnology Fellow for the Math Science Innovation Center in Richmond, and I teach a course on nanotechnology at the Center for Virginia's Summer Regional Governor's School. And I think it's a blast.