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Magic is Just Science

Tell us a bit about your background:

My name is Alex Reid and I spent most of my life in and around Kingston, Ontario. Prior to joining BBS three years ago, I spent several summers volunteering and working in school programs throughout different parts of Africa. Ultimately, those experiences were the drive behind me entering the international teaching profession. As for hobbies, many of them involve the outdoors. I enjoy all things travel, as well as horseback riding, snowboarding, hiking, and different water sports, such as wakeboarding and paddle-boarding, which I am lucky enough to be able to do from my own backyard in Canada!


Tell us one moment from this teaching experience that was particularly powerful, interesting, or funny.

A teaching moment that I found particularly entertaining happened just this year during one of my science classes. We were exploring a concept that was rather fascinating to students. During this time, one of my students, who was particularly blown away by the demonstration, eventually called out, “Ms. HOW? Wallah, this is MAGIC!”. Immediately after, another student turned around and very matter-of-factly stated, “It’s not magic, it’s science”, and continued on. Understanding how some of the most perplexing things around us work is one of my favourite things about science. I loved that we were all able to share how exciting it can be to experience and learn about our world!


Do you have any inspirational words and/or specific sites, organizations, strategies, or links that you’d like to share with other teachers?

As far as inspirational words go, I often feel it is best to get these from my students. The things they say and do are by no means always complex, insightful or perfectly phrased. People say things to us with good intentions of encouragement, but words are meaningless unless we believe them. It is solely because of the raw, funny, thoughtful and often surprising things that my students say and do that I find myself in the classroom in the first place. I love that I can take what I see and hear from my students at face value (they try to fool us, I know, but I like to believe teachers have a special sort of superpower to see through this most of the time!). When they say something nice, they mean it. When they don’t like something, you know it. We spend so much of our time with these children and much of the time we don’t spend with them we spend for them. I think teachers do well to keep the students at the center of their professional life, not getting bogged down by deadlines, colleagues, or long lists of boxes we need to check but instead enjoying the countless, genuine moments we have with them. This approach has definitely made my experience as a teacher a magical one.


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