Letter to Students

Dear student,

I will be your sixth grade science teacher next year. My name is Mr. Zahniser. (You say it "ZAWN-eye-zur," or if you want to play it safe, just call me "Mr. Z.") This will be my first year teaching at MATCH. I used to teach tenth grade physics at Latin Academy, and I have also taught middle schoolers from all over Boston at a summer program called Citybridge.

I'm excited about teaching sixth grade science, because sixth grade is just when your science mind is starting to awaken. The three years of middle school are when you will mature into real scientific thinkers. If I can keep the class challenging and interesting enough, I can be almost sure that you will enjoy it, because there is nothing quite so intoxicating as discovering that you can think in a new way. I'm excited about teaching at MATCH, because we have an incredibly devoted faculty and staff who are absolutely committed to helping you to learn and grow. And I'm excited to be back in the classroom, because I just took a year off to work as a computer programmer I couldn't stand being away from the constant learning and teaching and doing that goes on for everyone in school.

I also will be teaching the computer classes that we have during the interdisciplinary period. In the first trimester, you will take four weeks of typing with me. This is a skill that we can all afford to work on and one you can't get by in school without. In the second trimester, we will learn how to use word processing and spreadsheet programs. These classes are all building up to the third trimester, when you will have what is probably your first introduction to computer programming. By the end of that class, you will have written your own computer games in a real computer language, and you will be ready to learn more on your own if you are interested.

If you just can't wait to find out more about my science class, some of the material is already up on my family's website at www.zahniser.net (I'm "Russell", by the way). I've been working all summer to create curriculum for the class, and will keep developing it as we go through the year, so the website is permanently "under construction." You can at least see what we will be doing in the first few weeks.

I can't wait to see you all on Monday!


Russell Zahniser ("Mr. Z.")