I’m John Burk, a physics and math teacher at a boarding school in Delaware, who loves my job—I get paid to learn and help students discover the joy in science and math. What could be cooler than that?
This blog tells the story of my ongoing learning as a teacher, a journey that often seems like a random walk with a slight bias toward gradual improvement through failure and reflection.
Why Quantum Progress?
In 1900 Max Planck discovered that electromagnetic radiation, light, is quantized. He realized that a hot object can only emit radiation in tiny discrete packets called quanta. This led to a revolution in physics as we realized so many phenomena we thought were continuous, like the possible energies of an atom, aren’t continuous, but quantized—composted of tiny nearly indistinguishable, but discrete bits.
In a rough way, this is how I see my progress as a teacher and learner. It isn’t a continuous journey from naive first year teacher, who thought students would simply absorb every idea I spoke, to the teacher I am today. Instead, any progress I’ve made comes from tiny discrete steps, accumulated over time into significant change, that only looks continuous in hindsight.
In addition to this blog, you can follow my progress in realtime on twitter at: occam98.