Which 4 classes are the easiest?

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In summary: However, if you insist on just four classes, I would recommend taking Optics, Thermodynamics, Mechanics I, and Electromagnetism I. These will provide a solid foundation for teaching high school astronomy and will also be useful for any other physics courses you may need to teach. In summary, it is not about taking the easiest classes, but rather choosing the ones that will be most beneficial to your goals. You may also want to consider taking more than four classes if possible, as a well-rounded understanding of physics will make you a better teacher.
  • #1
Okay so which 4 classes would you recommend me to take? I am only wanting to teach high school astronomy LOL however, I have to pick 4 classes from here. Easiest classes would be?
 

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  • #2
It is not a matter of which class is easiest. The question is which class will be more beneficial to your goals.
The classes you show are generally listed in the order of difficulty or that the lowest numbered class is a prerequisite for the following classes. Frankly you should take more than 4 classes IMO. If for some valid reason you can only take four then I would choose Opitcs, Thermo, Mech I and E/M I
 
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  • #3
gleem said:
Thermo
Is "Thermal Physics" Thermo (thermodynamics)? I'm not familiar with the term "Thermal Physics".

@Dark_matters84 -- I agree with @gleem but would want to add/substitute Relativity. If you are going to "teach" astronomy, it's probably important that you have at least an introduction to SR/GR, IMO.
 
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  • #4
Even granting that the right thing to do is take the easiest courses (and you can add my skepticism to the list), do you think a course name and number is enough to tell? Does the professor make no difference? Does the course content make no difference?
 
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  • #5
berkeman said:
Is "Thermal Physics" Thermo (thermodynamics)? I'm not familiar with the term "Thermal Physics".
Yes, I have heard it referred to as such.

In thinking about the OP I cannot express adequately my feelings with regard to how this affect future of science education in the US.
 
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  • #6
gleem said:
In thinking about the OP I cannot express adequately my feelings with regard to how this affect future of science education in the US.
Yeah, me too. I thought about commenting about that aspect, but held off. I would choose the courses that excited me the most, and take more classes to round out my background for my intended teaching position, but that's just me (and you). :smile:
 
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  • #7
The problem is the lack of excitement. How can a teacher inspire (the main objective of a teacher) his student without that internal fire that come from such excitement?
 
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  • #8
berkeman said:
Yeah, me too. I thought about commenting about that aspect, but held off. I would choose the courses that excited me the most, and take more classes to round out my background for my intended teaching position, but that's just me (and you). :smile:
And me.
 
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  • #9
What's the deal, no more tree-climbing-type classes you can take? I was stuck up in that tree for a few months, stuck, but I finally made it down and passed.
 
  • #10
gleem said:
The problem is the lack of excitement. How can a teacher inspire (the main objective of a teacher) his student without that internal fire that come from such excitement?
Yeah because I’m going to be teaching thermal physics and maxwells equations in high school. I will be teaching none of these courses in high school. Zero.
 
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  • #11
Dark_matters84 said:
Okay so which 4 classes would you recommend me to take? I am only wanting to teach high school astronomy LOL however, I have to pick 4 classes from here. Easiest classes would be?
Nobody knows the difference between high school astronomy and upper division college physics classes. Smh. 🤦🏻‍♂️ Is this a liberal arts forum?
 
  • #12
Dark_matters84 said:
Yes because I’m going to be teaching maxwells equations and how to integrate in astronomy. Get outta here and join a liberal arts forum if you don’t know the difference between high school astronomy and upper division college physics courses bro.
I'm sure you will be a great inspiration to any students who are unlucky enough to have you as a teacher.
 
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  • #13
phinds said:
I'm sure you will be a great inspiration to any students who are unlucky enough to have you as a teacher.
My question has yet to be answered. Will I be teaching maxwells equations, Newtonian mechanics, quantum physics/mechanics in high school? Do you not know any of these courses? Because if you don’t know... none of these upper division college classes will ever be taught in high school astronomy
 
  • #14
Dark_matters84 said:
Will I be teaching maxwells equations ... in high school?
I doubt that you will be teaching Maxwell's equation in a high school class, but you should have a good understanding of, say, magnetic fields, to explain how the Earth's magnetic field protects its inhabitants from cosmic rays and such.
Dark_matters84 said:
Will I be teaching Newtonian mechanics ... in high school?
You probably will. I doubt that any high school has a position devoted to teaching nothing but astronomy. Most likely they will want someone to teach physics as well.
Dark_matters84 said:
Will I be teaching quantum physics/mechanics in high school?
Probably not, but how will you answer a bright student who asks how quantum computers work?

gleem said:
In thinking about the OP I cannot express adequately my feelings with regard to how this affect future of science education in the US.
Amen to that!
 
  • #15
If you were to teach Quantum Mechanics or Maxwell's Equation or orbital dynamic you would need even more of a background to effectively teach these subjects. Perhaps someone could verify the idea that to effectively teach a subject you should know about twice amount that you are to teach. Your apparent work ethic IMO reflects how far you are willing to go to effectively teach, help and inspire your students to careers in STEM. So why are you asking us for recommendation for course that you deem too advanced to teach.? Mechanic I will barely get you beyond harmonic motion ,basic rigid body motion or simple orbital motion. E/M I will probably not take you to a full discussion of Maxwell's equation. So you need not fear learning too much.

Regarding thermal physics there is so much you can tell kids because this branch of physics impacts their live directly everyday. It may be harder to teach this to HS student since it is so math oriented but the physical manifestations are so real.

Be a resource for you students not just one who wants to get through a day an collect a paycheck.
 
  • #16
Maybe you can write a follow-up to Tony Robbins: "Put the Giant within to Sleep".
 
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  • #17
Mark44 said:
I doubt that you will be teaching Maxwell's equation in a high school class, but you should have a good understanding of, say, magnetic fields, to explain how the Earth's magnetic field protects its inhabitants from cosmic rays and such.
You probably will. I doubt that any high school has a position devoted to teaching nothing but astronomy. Most likely they will want someone to teach physics as well.
Probably not, but how will you answer a bright student who asks how quantum computers work?

Amen to that!

Smh. This group. I was being sarcastic. I already know for a fact that I won’t be teaching any of these upper division physics classes. Even if I were to take all of them, it would not benefit me nor the students I teach. The level of these classes is for students wanting to apply for PhD programs. That’s the only reason I only have to take 4. Of my major was not education (7-12th grade which is high school) then I would have to take all of them. None of these courses will be taught in a high school astronomy class. At least not at this level. Everyone seems confused and that’s because they didn’t read my whole post which said they were “upper division physics classes” I always read entire posts before answering or giving opinions but that’s just me. Not everyone likes to read a lot. I know I wrote a lot and asked a lot to be read in my post but if you read my whole post it does say “upper division” upper division means students already about to graduate. These are the last 4 physics classes I will ever see .
 
  • #18
Emphasis added ...
gleem said:
Perhaps someone could verify the idea that to effectively teach a subject you should know about twice amount that you are to teach. Your apparent work ethic IMO reflects how far you are willing to go to effectively teach, help and inspire your students to careers in STEM.
gleem said:
Be a resource for you students not just one who wants to get through a day an collect a paycheck.
I couldn't agree more.
 
  • #19
The OP has been banned for insulting other members, and the thread is now closed.
 
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