Not too easy. Not too difficult.
The academic obstacles that I faced in Ms. Ngo’s Honors Biology class were ultimately worth it. Starting the school year with self-doubt was the solution to how I took my last steps out room 905 with great enthusiasm and a new pair of eyes. Anyone can stumble into Ms. Ngo’s classroom and feel the “learning environment” but this is much more than just an productive educational setting. Ms. Ngo’s optimism and passion stains her students. Rather than just teaching a section of a chapter as is, Ms. Ngo implements her own knowledge to add additional detail to enhance the learning experience. Memory devices and stories are made to guarantee that biology stick to a student’s mind. From struggling to stay awake at night to outline the last pages of the chapter to zealously researching literature beyond the curriculum to supplement lab report, I used my newfound grit to ignite a profound interest for the study of life.
In Ms. Ngo’s Honors Biology class, many memories are guaranteed to be made. Whether the memory is the stress from struggling to retain information about cell replication or simple joy from Ms. Ngo’s teasing jokes, highlights throughout the year are created regardless of its positive-negative impact. However two highlights, a scar and the other a meaningful tattoo, were made. Throughout the year, Honors Biology was a strenuous course. As a result, stressing over a test, causing sleepless nights, was a highlight of Ms. Ngo’s Honors Biology class. What makes this instance more memorable is Ms. Ngo’s words the day before a test. As a very experienced teacher, Ms. Ngo would tell the class whether the chapter student were being tested on was a high or low. Over the course of many years of teaching, Ms. Ngo remembers the struggles of her students for every chapter in the book and announces it. Every student heeds her “warning” and inputs all their effort to achieve their desired grade. Weeks fly by and Ms. Ngo announces the test averages of every class period of the previous test. As a result, each class period is determined to beat one another and claim first. If Ms. Ngo had not announced test averages for each class period, students would not enter their competitive state and utilize their academic capabilities to their maximum potential. In addition to stress and competition, Ms. Ngo also created relaxing and entertaining moments throughout the year. For example, the chapter Ms. Ngo was teaching at one point in the school year was about the cell cycle. In order to enhance her students’ learning experience about DNA replication within a cell, she ordered the students to form two lines and have four volunteers act as the DNA splitting protein helicase and the DNA “gluing” protein ligase for each line, which represents one strand in the double-strand helix. This small activity was not only fun and competitive but also made learning about DNA replication all the more worthwhile. These two experiences marked the highlights of Ms. Ngo’s Honors Biology class. Though there were great moments like Ms. Ngo throwing toy sperm and eggs at students dozing off and her teasing students by calling them “special children” Ms. Ngo’s success in creating stress, competition, and entertainment all at the same time were the true highlights of this course.
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Advice for students:
Many students who have had Ms. Ngo’s Honors Biology course have given the vague advice of “just study”. However, just reading the textbook does no use in her class. One must read for understanding, not only for the sake of completion. Another trick to strive in Ms. Ngo’s Honors Biology class is to take careful notes of her lectures. Because much of her exams and assignments follow much of her personal powerpoints and what Ms. Ngo teaches beyond the textbook, it is crucial that students give her their full attention to make the best use of this exceptional educational opportunity.