Freshmen Battle Chemistry

By Will Woods and Colson Williams

As we embarked on our quest to find a snapshot of daily life at Collegiate, Colson Williams (’18) and I immediately thought of our AP Environmental Science teacher, Dr. Rebecca Hottman. We went to her room, hoping to ask her questions, and we found her teaching a class. Disappointed but not deterred, we asked if we could sit in on ninth grade chemistry for 30 minutes, just to observe and get a feel for the class. She obliged, and we were taken back to our days as freshmen, learning how to balance chemical equations.

She started her class going through administrative tasks, such as informing her pupils that they had a test next Tuesday and reminding them of their approaching exam. She then dove into teaching, not wanting to waste any class time with a test and an exam coming up. She put her students to work balancing chemical equations that were written on the whiteboard, a task that, despite having taken chemistry, still confused both of us. After giving her students time to work out the first equation, she then worked on solving it for the class, asking for input and helping steer students in the right direction. After solving the first equation, the process was repeated, with the only difference being that this time the students were largely on their own and had to put up the answers themselves. Despite a few mistakes, they finished the problems with a better understanding than before.

Dr. Hottman has taught both of us this past semester, and what we saw in her chemistry class was almost a mirror image of what we see in our class on an almost daily basis: a deep concern for her students and their success, but a no-nonsense attitude while teaching. We would like to thank Dr. Hottman and her chemistry class for allowing us to sit in and observe and for everything she does for Collegiate.

Featured image by Colson Williams.

About the author

Will Woods is a senior at Collegiate.