To document his final year of teaching before retirement, science teacher Chap Percival began a blog in August. The blog is named “40 Down, 1 to Go,” in reference to his 40-year teaching career and the current final year.
Percival intends for the blog to be a personal legacy. “I remember wishing I wrote more about different things in the past, so this will be a good way to document everything from this year so I can look back on it later,” Percival said.
Percival posts about once a week, and the blog’s topics range from recollections of classroom events to lessons he has learned in his last year of teaching.
A recent post talked about an activity he did with his Astronomy class. “This week we managed to have our first stargaze, so it was a great week. It never got fully clear; clouds were present the entire time. But we got to see my primary target for the evening, Saturn and its rings, through the telescope. One student saw a bright meteor, his first ever. He was stoked,” he wrote.
He also notes the last times he will be doing certain things, such as his final school picture day. “I am realizing this is my last time doing many things I’ve done 40 times or more. I want to write about these things so I can look back later,” Percival said.
Percival appreciates the perspective provided by his last year of teaching and hopes to convey that in the blog. “At times like this, with the perspective it brings, seeing the big picture allows us to understand the foundation that under girds what we do every day. For me and most teachers I know, it is not just for a paycheck. It is to make a difference in each of my students,” he wrote in one post.
Percival’s blog is available here.