Pack Your Bags. We’re Going on a Trip!

What’s this blog about and who should read it?

The name’s Sam Vo.  I’m a veteran school teacher, amateur tech nerd, semi DIYer, and kinda-sorta fitness enthusiast.  You’ll probably be reading something about those if you choose to stick with me.  Stands to reason you’re probably also one of the things I mentioned above.

Why should you read this?

As a middle school science teacher since August of 2004, I’ve picked up a few things about science education, classroom management, and building relationships with students.  I know some very wise, Yoda-level shizz.  However, the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) make me feel like a newbie first- or second-year teacher again.  I’m having to drop old (bad) habits and pick up new ones, which means I’m starting all over again from the beginning just like a new teacher.  I’d guess about 95% of the instructional materials I used for the 2017-18 school year were completely new.  It’s a slow, uncomfortable process for me, and to be honest, I feel like a moron most of the time, but I’m doing it because it’s great for students.  I’m no expert in the NGSS (or anything really), but I’m happy to share my successes with it, and my horrible, humiliating failures for your continued pedagogical growth and entertainment.  My point is, whether you’re a veteran teacher or newbie educator, I think I’ve got something to offer YOU because… I’m both!  You don’t even have to be a science teacher to benefit (and help me) with a lot of what you”ll see in this blog.  So, you veterans out there can see how a fellow veteran tries to adapt and improve.  If you’re feeling kind of stuck, come along with me and maybe together we’ll pull each other out.  For you newbies, I’m still trying to wrap my brain around this whole teaching thing after over a decade in the profession.  If you feel like you’re drowning under an ocean of pedagogy, content, classroom management, and adulting even, then you’re not alone.  Join me and maybe we can keep each other afloat like Jack and Rose did.  Wait.  That’s a bad analogy.  You get my meaning, right?  Good.

As I alluded to above, this won’t be ALL about my teaching practice.  I love learning about tech (computers, smartphones, 3D printers, etc), Do-It-Yourself stuff, and fitness.  I didn’t go to school for any of that and I’ve been overweight my whole life, but I do Google and YouTube them frequently for fun.  Like the NGSS, I’m not an expert with any of this stuff either, but it’ll be more fun if you and I journey together as BFFs to figure them out.


Other “Me” things:

  • B.S. Physiology – UC Santa Barbara, 2001
  • California Clear Single Subject Teaching Credential in Biological Sciences – UC Santa Barbara, 2004
  • Masters in Education (M.Ed.) – UC Santa Barbara, 2007
  • Married since June 2005.
  • 2 kids – 1 boy, 1 girl. DONE!
  • 2 siblings – 1 boy, 1 girl. Pretty sure my mom’s DONE!
    • I’m the middle kid.
  • I was born and raised in Texas, but I live in California.
  • My birthday is April 7, 1979.  Please mark your calendar.
  • I’m Vietnamese-American, y estoy aprendiendo Español!
  • I know martial arts.  HIYA!!!