Author Archives: Mr. Bigler

About Mr. Bigler

Physics teacher at Lynn English High School in Lynn, MA. Proud father of two daughters. Violist & morris dancer.

Those Who Can, Do; Those Who Can Teach, Teach

Recently, a friend trotted out the old adage, “Those who can, do.  Those who can’t, teach.”  This quote bothers me.  I understand the frustration behind it, but my experience suggests otherwise. +10

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Would you please light me on fire?

In kindergarten and elementary school, birthdays are a big deal.  However, sometime between elementary school and high school, birthday celebrations become relegated to families and friends outside the classroom. +30

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Taking the Power Play Out of Self-Esteem

I’ve posted about student self-esteem several times.  In two posts, Self Esteem from October 2011 and Self-Esteem Starts With Esteem from November 2013, I described students who continually put themselves down, and how I would insist that they say to me, “Mr. Bigler, I’m … Continue reading

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“It’s Not That Bad”

When a normally conscientious student lets the end of the quarter arrive with a failing (or barely passing) average because of missing work, it doesn’t take a lot of insight to realize that something is wrong.  I had two such students … Continue reading

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Time Commitments

In 2007 when I taught in Belmont (one of the wealthier suburbs of Boston), I observed that a significant number of my students expressed stress about their time commitments. I devised a survey +20

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Raison d’Être

One of my now former students graduated on Friday.  Just before graduation, she handed one of the nicest letters I’ve ever received.  I am reproducing parts of her letter here, with some identifying information removed. +5-2

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The First AP Physics 1 Exam

This is a self-centered post, for which I ask my readers’ indulgence. This has been my first year teaching AP Physics, and the first year of the new AP Physics 1 exam.  (For those not familiar with the change, effective last … Continue reading

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Avoiding Failure by Never Trying

Each year, as students sink farther and farther into the abyss of test-driven curriculum and low-level thinking, I have to work harder and harder to teach them high-level thinking skills.  This year, my students and I seem to be approaching … Continue reading

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The Aftermath of Standardized Test Prep

When potential students ask whether (high school) physics is hard, I tell them, “Imagine a year of algebra word problems, in which you have to understand a situation in order to figure out which equation to apply and how to … Continue reading

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Making A Student Cry

I made one of my students cry this afternoon. +190

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