How the Kesler Science Lab Changed My Teaching, My Life, and My Sanity

This is a guest post from Shala Lamothe. Shala is an NGSS rock-star and started helping me write my new NGSS products back in the spring. Over time, she shared with me the story of the transformations which happened after she became a member of “The Lab”I asked her if she would share that story with you all as well.  Take it away, Shala. 

Do you feel overwhelmed with planning quality lesson plans, labs, and assessments? Do you find yourself working hours after the school bell has dismissed? Or worse, take work home to complete, then feel guilty when you don’t get to it? Do find it difficult to navigate and piece together all those resources online? If you answered “YES!” to one of these or all of these, I understand entirely. That was me.

I am the only science teacher for a small school and have six different classes and also guide the elementary teachers. My short planning period is bogged down with IEP meetings, administrative duties, and subbing for absent teachers. I used to arrive at school before 7 am (with kids in tow) and left after 6 pm every day.

My teaching began to suffer and my classroom management was awful. I also felt guilty for taking away time from my family. I was losing my sanity and was on the edge of complete burn-out. Out of desperation, I joined a couple of sites that offered materials; I was disappointed and canceled immediately.  I turned to the internet, but I didn’t have time to sort through it all, nor could I afford to keep purchasing resources.

One day, I received an email from Kesler Science, offering me a membership to a site that promised all Kesler resources in one place. I had purchased a couple of units and liked the quality, so I figured I would give it a try. I was hesitant at first but moved forward out of desperation.  I am so glad that I made that decision!

I’ve seen a drastic change in my teaching since I began using Kesler Lab.  Some of the key benefits to me as a teacher are:

  • My administration loves my lesson plans, and I get high marks on evaluations.
  • My students are engaged and excited about science class. My classroom buzzes with learning instead of chaos.
  • I rediscovered the joy of teaching. No longer do I dread getting up in the morning. No longer do I wonder how I will ever get it all done.
  • Did I mention my students are learning and loving it??

More importantly, my personal life has changed drastically.

  • I arrive at school at 7:45 am and usually leave before 4 pm. My fellow teachers watch in awe as I walk out long before they do almost every day.
  • I do not take work home. Work stays at work…and there’s no guilt about it.
  • I have regained family time. I have time now to cook healthy meals instead of hitting the drive-thru when everyone is cranky from a long day. We eat dinner together. We have time to participate in other activities.
  • I have regained my sanity and am no longer stressed or on the verge of burn-out.
  • I have time to enjoy my social life outside of school again.

The sheer number of resources available in the Kesler Lab makes the cost seem insignificant. Even better, there are new resources added all the time y which makes it feel like teacher Christmas every time I log in.

It is hard to imagine that burned out teacher I was not too long ago. Everything has changed for me.

Save yourself, your family, and your teaching…join the Kesler Lab.

Shala Lamothe, Ed.S.