Hello and welcome to the first post of the HAPSblog!

ChavezHighSchoolHoustonI’m Erin Russe, a first year high school Anatomy and Physiology teacher in Houston, TX. I received my Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where I worked as the Lead Teaching Assistant with Dr. Peter English in the Hands-on-Science program for elementary education majors. Through this program, my training with the UTeach program, and a physiology course I took from Dr. English and Dr. Dee Silverthorn, I solidified my passion for science and really developed a desire to teach and use inquiry in my classroom.

I currently teach at Chavez High School, a Title 1, 5-A school in Houston, TX. I am teaching one section of A&P this year, with about 35 seniors. I am also teaching 5 sections of sophomore chemistry, which, this past semester seemed to demand most of my focus. Now that chemistry is mostly organized, I am dedicating this semester to rebuilding our Anatomy program. I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to design the A&P program as I see fit, which is very exciting, but often overwhelming. A driving force for me, as a teacher, has been to uncover and reconstruct my students’ misconceptions. As a new A&P teacher, I sometimes do not know what misconceptions to expect, and I hope that the lessons I teach are not fostering my students’ prior misconceptions or allowing them to develop new ones. Because of this, I feel very strongly about the POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) methods and using inquiry in the classroom. I would be so proud and excited to build a rigorous and engaging A&P program around that!

Hopefully this blog will serve as an outlet for all HAPS members to share ideas, experiences, research, references, activities, and all things important to teaching Anatomy and Physiology. I envision this as a very collaborative and engaging space to ask questions, get answers, and work together to solve some of today’s biggest challenges in being a first year science teacher, and in teaching Anatomy and Physiology in general. What better resource could there be than a group of passionate experienced professionals? I am honored to have this opportunity to communicate and collaborate with you, and I hope this blog will prove beneficial or insightful to you, as well.

7 thoughts on “Hello and welcome to the first post of the HAPSblog!

  1. Thanks for doing this blog, Erin. Very exciting! A question for you — do you think that an Advanced Placement exam in human anatomy and physiology would be popular?

    • Hi Dr. Dee! I’m really excited to be doing this blog. When I was in high school, I’m almost certain an Advanced Placement exam was offered, so when I started teaching this year, I thought it was going to be an AP course. I am not sure when they stopped offering it, but I know it was a very popular at my high school. There probably isn’t much interest where I am currently teaching (we aren’t able to offer very many AP courses because students just aren’t interested in taking them), which is really a shame. I went into college at UT with over 30 hours from dual-credit and AP courses, and I don’t think a lot of high schoolers realize that’s possible.

  2. Thanks for blogging for HAPS! I’m looking forward to reading about your redesign process and picking up new ideas. Are you thinking of having your students do any independent research projects in your course, or of having them design experiments?

    My A&P course materials are on my website, if you want to look at any of them. They’re free for you to use, as long as my name and Alverno’s remain on them.

  3. Hey Erin,
    Thank you for doing this. FYI – I’m right up the road in Tomball, teaching for Lone Star College – Unversity Park. I am the Southern Regional Director for HAPS.

    • Hi Jason,
      Thanks for checking the blog! You’re not far at all.

      Are there any upcoming HAPS events for the Southern Region? If there’s anything going on, I’d love to get more involved and meet some more members before the Conference in May!

      • Erin,
        Nothing local, although there are a lot of HAPS members in Houston.
        There is also a Southern Region Conference the first weekend in November.

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