A girl and her cat take on the world with nothing more than a cup of tea and a good book and enough dreams to fill the universe.

Dealing With No

How do you deal with a no? Yesterday, my science notebook idea was shot down. I was disappointed to say the least. Incredibly frustrated to say the most. I was told that the science notebook would add too much pressure and ‘school’ like aspects to this NASA class I’m teaching. When I asked what we would be presenting at the NAS conference, which it is my understanding, that we are required to present at as part of our contract with NASA, I was told they have no idea. An abstract is due on February 3rd.


I was also told that some of these teachers have tried to teach writing in their classrooms, but it didn’t work. Their students were asking “Are we doing math or in English class?” Yet, they also provided examples of friends they had had who had their students write in their non-English classrooms and it worked beautifully. They told me it took someone special to do that. Someone with an incredible talent and with the time to make it work. I am studying both English and physical science with education in mind. I spend an inordinate amount of time wondering how the two can work together. I felt spurned. I felt like I was being unvalued as a person. I wasn’t good enough for them. I’m just a girl with a dream and I. Want. To. Try. Let. Me. Try. What’s the worst that can happen? I fail at it and the science notebook is a massive flop? Then all of these PhDs are proven correct. They were right. I was wrong. Are they are afraid it might work? Why is this being stifled? I just don’t understand.

charlie brown sigh

My objective is to empower pre-service elementary school teachers in the sciences, so that they feel confident enough to teach science well. This class is supposed to give them tools and ideas on how to teach science in a hands-on engaging way. Yesterday, I was told that we’re all just supposed to be fun. I’m for fun. I like fun. I’m all about fun. But I’m also about learning. Engaging is not always fun. Learning is not always just an easy cakewalk. Some of the most fun I’ve ever had were in classes that challenge me to change. What does this say about education if we make things fun first and challenging second?

learning words

I wrote a post awhile back about the rule of 90. 90 percent of your students will forget 90 percent of what you taught them within 90 days of finishing your class. That’s with note taking. Imagine what that would be without writing anything down, without giving yourself something to look back on. Proof that you have accomplished something. Isn’t that valuable?


The temptation is to throw the towel in. To say “see ya.” I’ve probably overcommitted myself anyway and it seems like there are too many people in this project. For minimum wage and a couple of hours of experience a week, am I overreacting? I’m going to stick with it. I’m going to try and approach the supervisors and ask them to reconsider the science notebook idea. It can be changed. It can be tweaked, but I don’t think we should throw the baby out with the bath water. Give me a chance. Give my idea a chance.

chance dream defeat reality

To end on a high note, I love my job with the after school program because I have the freedom to teach science how I want to teach science. If it works great, if it doesn’t we learn and try again. I absolutely love it. I love the freedom I am afforded. I am given a chance and my ideas are given a chance and it’s in a real life school with real students. I will make it through this.

be free

How do you all deal with no? How do you pursue your ideas and get a chance to prove yourself?


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