Biology and biking

As part of the teacher certification program I am in, I have to teach a unit of five classes to middle school students. I started yesterday, so today was day two. Yesterday I was nervous – not about the students, but about being observed by another teacher. Many of the students were already familiar with what I was teaching yesterday, and they got a bit squirrely at the end. Today was much better. We did a very fun computer simulation to construct prairie ecosystems. I had as much fun with it as they did! Figuring out timing in classes is probably the hardest part of teaching so far. The students are capable of getting a lot done in 45 minutes, and I have to plan several activities to keep them on task that whole time. Having a child who is in middle school certainly helps.

My current professor requires that we submit our homework the day before class, so by three I was done with homework, teaching, and running a couple of errands. The weather was gorgeous – about 65, with a bright, sunny sky – so I decided to go for a bike ride. I have been wanting to do a ride with one of my neighbors for awhile, so since he happened to be free, he joined me on my ride. He is very fit, and could have seriously kicked my butt, but instead he let me set the pace. Very nice of him! He has given me a lot of encouragement since I started cycling last spring, for which I am very thankful. There is one big hill on the route we took that used to nearly knock me out, but now I am determined not to gear down, and I just muscle my way through it in a relatively high gear. I think I can officially say I have conquered that hill! Small victories are sometimes the best…

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