About this Site
I first started posting at mrswilsonscience.com in 2007 to share information with my sixth grade Earth science students. It was my second year teaching Earth science, and my first attempt at having a class website. You can find that first site here. I was really ambitious and decided to not only create my own site but also learn css to style it and coded it all myself. It’s a bit simple, but it worked!
The following year, I started using Wordpress to manage my content, and I found that it was much easier to share and post daily class updates that way. Each year, I would rebuild the site with a new look and theme. It was one way for me to redecorate for the new school year – much like a bulletin board refresh in my room! In the fall of 2014, I transferred from teaching 6th grade Earth science to teaching high school chemistry and engineering. I taught the high school level for the following two years, and I found I did not update or use the class website much. Most of that was due to the fact that I worked in a PBL environment, and we had project pages and student portfolios, so my class site was redundant.
The next big change came in the summer of 2016 when I moved from the Atlanta, GA area to England. I soon found a secondary science teaching job (the same week I arrived in England!). I did attempt to resurrect the class blog, but I found I was just teaching too many classes from day to day to update each one on a daily basis. The site had sat sad and dormant until now (summer of 2019).
Personally, I started blogging at Stretching Forward in June of 2009 to share about teaching strategies, struggles, and things I had tried. That site is still active, and you can find many of the resources I shared previously there. However, I haven’t posted there for over two years. When I decided to start blogging again, I did some “market research” and decided to relaunch by using this site, as it has a more personal feel identity compared to Stretching Forward.
Thank you for visiting, and I hope you find something useful to you and your teaching practice as you explore.
Welcome! My name is Janelle Wilson, but in the classroom, I usually go by Mrs Wilson (or Miss, as that’s the norm in England). I grew up in Florida with a love for space, the stars, reading, and creating. When I decided to become a teacher, I knew that I wanted to teach science to make it come alive for students. After a short stint teaching language arts(!), I began teaching middle school science in Georgia. I taught Earth science for eight years. The first year the course was taught in eighth grade. The following year, the course was moved to sixth grade, and I moved with it. I received my gifted endorsement and taught gifted students the majority of that time. In my final year teaching middle school, I helped get the first year of a PBL program running.
In 2014, I left teaching middle school and moved up to the high school in the same area of my district, once again to teach in a PBL environment. I mainly taught chemistry, but I had a secondary class as well of either engineering or astronomy. I absolutely loved my time teaching in this high school PBL environment. For one, I had a chance to teach many of my former sixth graders a second time. I loved seeing how much students had matured in the years since I first taught them. Secondly, I loved our PBL environment as we integrated science, language arts, technology, and sometimes math. We focused on authentic learning with real world applications. I worked with an amazing team of colleagues, and we did amazing work with our students.
In the summer of 2016, I made the huge jump from living and teaching outside of Atlanta, GA by moving to England. My husband is English, and after living in the US for many years, he was homesick for his country. There has been some adjustment getting used to teaching and living in England, but it has been a grand adventure. One of my favorite things is how walkable my city is. I live close to the city center, so I can walk to the major shopping area within half an hour. I also live less than two miles from the school where I teach. I even started commuting via bicycle this year. These are things I never would have been able to do in Georgia.
I have been really fortunate to have many amazing adventures from going to Space Camp, to exploring the Chattahoochee River from source to mouth, to floating in microgravity. These have helped inform my teaching and focus on STEM.
Finally, I am apologizing in advance for any mixed up US English/UK English you may see regularly on this site. As an American living in England, I have started to switch my spellings, and sometimes I still use a US spelling but sometimes I will use a UK one. Hopefully it’s not too confusing!
If you have any questions on things you’d like to know, please get in touch or comment below.