Jeremy Côté

Bits, ink, particles, and words.

Finishing Sentences

One of the classic methods of teaching I’ve witnessed in a science classroom is the “finish the sentence” method. Essentially, it involves the teacher saying a sentence and trailing off at the end while raising their voice in order to make it sound like a question, which prompts the students to answer. In and of itself, this isn’t a bad strategy. It engages students and makes them participate in a class discussion instead of having a teacher lecture the entire class time.

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Reading a Solution

When you have a lot of homework, it’s awfully tempting to just look up the answers. After all, you’re only doing it because you want to get other homework done, right? And if you take the time to read through the solutions, it’s good enough. You aren’t just copying down answers. You’re following the work that is done.

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Expertise Does Not Imply Teaching Skills

One of the incorrect assumptions I’ve long made is about teaching. Basically, I would get excited by the prospect of teaching some sort of concept to another person, and so I would work very hard on the presentation. However, there would inevitably come a moment when I’d realize that I wasn’t actually an expert in what I was talking about, so I would decide to stop the project.

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During my science education at CÉGEP, there was a lot to learn. In two years, I took five physics classes, four mathematics classes, two chemistry classes, and a biology class. This was in addition to many other complementary and language classes I had, which meant there was a lot of content to get through over the years. Consequently, there was an impetus to prioritize work by looking at whatever was coming up in the next week. Once the material was covered, it could safely be forgotten.

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