Chemistry matters

Seth Hudgins, staff writer

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Jemelyn Palentinos has been a chemistry teacher here for three years. She sponsors UIL science and occasionally helps with Student Council and Family, CC LA.

“I like teaching because it still challenges me to get the information to students who have never had a course like this,” Palentinos said. “I like the challenge of trying to get the students to learn a very difficult subject for their age.”

She went to college for six years at Texas Tech University and got her bachelor’s degree in chemistry and master’s degree in secondary education.

“I loved college. I will tell you up front that I really wasn’t prepared for what college was. I had the intelligence but I regret never learning the proper way to study for exams in high school,” she said.

She accepts the challenge of taking on her students and helping with many other clubs. She doesn’t see it as an issue. She sees it more as an opportunity to help.

“I get to be around different set of kids and also get to see how other organizations are handled,” she said.

Chemistry is a subject built on many other subjects involving elements, atoms and matter.

“I love the math aspect of it all. We don’t really get to it until about end of November but it’s funny to watch the kids with blank faces looking back at you. The nerd in me likes it because it’s challenging,” she said.

Coming into a school year it is great to have goals that one can set to reach before the year is over. She sets goals to help your students in the classroom.

“My goal every year is to survive the school year. Honestly though, one of my goals is to have an impact on the students and hopefully they will leave with something from my class whether it be the content, how to work in groups in the lab, or even how to study. I just want them to have at least grown as a person from August 2014 to June 2015,” she said.

To reach these goals that are set, she has strategies to help get herself reach those goals.

“I think trying to integrate what the iPads are really for in school which is school work,” she said. “I plan on trying to get the students to do what they are supposed to do. I also want to plan more hands-on activities that will be beneficial to the learning of the students but that’s always one of my strategies that never seem to pan out.”

All teachers have a special part in their day that they enjoy the most. Most teachers like their break or their fun projects, but Palentinos’s favorite part is her students.

“I get to know a new set of students every year and I love that. Even though it can get rough during the school year, I usually never want to change a thing about any of it,” the teacher said.

Many changes have been made to the school during the last couple of years. Some people agree with the changes and some do not. Take the iPads for example.

“I do like the iPads because it makes easier for me, as a teacher, to take daily work home and grade on one device rather than having a huge stack of papers on the weekends,” she said.

Teachers will see students complaining and begging not to have to do work. That’s one thing the educator would love to change.

“In the real world, if some big shot boss at your job tells you to do something you will do it and not complain. That’s what the kids have to learn about life. You adjust to what you are given even if it’s something you want to don’t understand or even agree with,” she said.

 

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Chemistry matters