I loved teaching my Year 9 Science group. It was a small group of just nine pupils. They were Anthony, Rani, Sina, Hussam, Mahyar, Mesut, Sandra, Ashley and Philip.
What I am going to describe here is about a practical session. The students were going to make new compounds. As a demonstration, I made Magnesium Oxide and they were ‘dazzled’ by the brilliant white glow as the reaction took place between the shiny strip of magnesium ribbon and oxygen in the air.
After learning the chemistry behind this demonstration, the pupils started with their experiments, which spanned over three lessons.
Lesson 1 – They made black copper oxide by oxidising metallic copper.
Lesson 2 – They made blue copper sulphate solution by reacting the copper oxide with dilute sulphuric acid.
Lesson 3 – A long, shiny grey iron nail was dipped into the clear blue copper sulphate solution. Everyone was busy observing the changes in their nails. A sudden excitement amongst them, their faces expressed it. “Wow! how did it turn pink?”. Sina jumped up, held his “pink-bronze” nail between the prongs of a pair of forceps and shouted “Miss, I got the copper back!!!. You wanted us to get the copper out, didn’t you?” He realised that the iron was displacing the copper ions in the copper sulphate solution and the pink-bronze coating was due to the copper atoms.
Remember, we started with a shiny gold-bronze copper foil in Lesson 1? I was ecstatic! The children knew that I was pleased with their findings. Sina was able to see the pattern in the way the experiments progressed over the 3 lessons during that week and oh! what an achievement for me too!
Teaching is a rewarding career and I was very, very fortunate to come to MGB in October 2002 and to have continued teaching here. I love every minute of being at MGB and working with the pupils and colleagues. It is a fantastic school and it gave me the happiest two years of my teaching career.
A very BIG “thank you” to the Head Teacher and to everyone at MGB.