Ms. Barker, a chemistry teacher, has taught for 17 years. Previously she taught at James Wood but won’t pick a favorite between the Colonels and the Pioneers. Mrs. Barker said, “My favorite thing about teaching is getting to know my students. I like to help them understand a pretty challenging topic and it’s a lot easier if they know me and I know them. The worst thing is keeping up with the grading, I have 130 students that I have to grade the same papers of, after a while you start to go through the papers over and over again. It takes a lot of time and I take it seriously.”
Ms. Barker’s favorite unit is Chemistry Fundamentals. She enjoys getting into the chemistry of chemistry. Ms. Barker said, “I get to show students how things interact with everyday life. We get to do physical changes and we get to see chemical changes. You get a little taste of everything we get to do throughout the year.”
She doesn’t like teaching scientific method and measurements, the first unit. Her reasoning is sig figs (significant figures) because it’s a challenging topic to help students understand. In chemistry, students do a variety of labs. Ms. Barker’s favorite is the flame tests for Chemistry I because she likes students being able to see the practical applications of the colors in fireworks.
For AP Chemistry, Ms. Barker enjoys making alums out of aluminum foil. Ms. Barker said, “I just feel like it’s pretty cool that you can turn something household like that into pretty beautiful.” Ms. Barker doesn’t have a lab she doesn’t enjoy doing. She said, “I don’t have a least favorite lab. I love what I teach so I don’t really have one that I don’t like. If it’s a lab that I don’t think is working well for the students I don’t do it anymore. I try to find a better way for them to do it.”
Ms. Barker wants all her students to pass chemistry this year and thinks if students do their homework and pay attention it should be easy. “If you need help with something, please come see me,” she said.