I’m a substitute teacher, and today I’m in a middle school science class. The only problem, the teacher, who called in early this morning, obviously wasn’t planning on not being here, and therefore there is a not-so-curious lack of lesson plans for me to work with today.
Anyone who substitute teaches with any regularity will no doubt find themselves in a situation like this, and while can be frustrating or anxiety producing, I find myself looking forward to the day. Why? Because it’s a science class, and in the absence of a lesson plan, I’m simply left to my own devices, which in this case is a catalogue of science-related videos on YouTube that I love binge-watching before going to bed. These are a fantastic source of mind-expanding ideas, thoughts that a creative and curious thinker can play and tinker with, often just for its own sake. I’m not a scientist myself, but scientific ideas have fed much of the creative work that I’ve written, from poetry to plays.
Will these videos have anything to do with what the students are learning this semester? Highly doubtful, as these kids are likely not learning much about properties of light or the nature of the building blocks of atoms. But the videos are interesting, super informative, and I think they’re pretty fun. Hopefully the students feel the same way.