Jeff is training to become a high-school Physics teacher, and for that he deserves our respect and commendations. He also writes an interesting blog focussed on his journey; as a niche site, it remains true to its purpose throughout, whilst occasionally looking elsewhere for additional content.
When Jeff’s site began, way back in August ’03, the majority of entries were focussed on his teacher training, with tangential writings on science and scientific issues. He made good points about the creationism vs. evolution debate and how it is still raging; he wrote about how he used Apple’s movie software to (theoretically) introduce students to difficult concepts in science; his gripes about having to manage a classroom with 37 children in it are understandable and touching.
In September Jeff started teaching; the account of his first week is well narrated, neatly drawing the reader along. Afterwards the writer comments on the state of funding in schools, and relates the tale of the egg and the bottle, a marvellous little experiment that illustrates some of the finer points behind the science of air pressure.
The blog has its darker overtones. Jeff remarks often about the poor state of funding, how political concerns affect the use and judgement of textbooks. However, we are reminded near the end of September of just how bad things can get in American schools, with the story of another school shooting.
Jeff’s design is simple and appealing, with easy to read text, and a brief download time. My only concern is with the “About” page, which opens in a new window without scrollbars, making parts impossible to access without resorting to looking at the source. Otherwise, the design accomodates its content very neatly.
The site is still in its infancy. Already there is enough for an hour or so’s leisurely reading, and I hope that Jeff maintains his form for the duration of his training; perhaps this effort represents Volume 1 of an ongoing story. I hope so.