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Thursday, September 14, 2023


 ...at least they didn't fire me for the exploding schoolhouse.

Here is a tip: do not talk anymore about sodium's violent combustibility.

I hope Mr. Springs would be proud of me.  This is the very first time in more than thirty years that I've used the term "valence electrons" in a piece of writing.


Solomon Grundy said...

That's crazy!!! They fired you for THAT????????

They fired you for an act of God.

Hope you take legal action.

Chris Knight said...

I don't know if "act of God" is really that accurate. Sodium is so wildly reactive that it's practically impossible to find free and raw in nature. In fact, I would be willing to bet that it has NEVER been found on its own. Every laboratory that keeps it in stock, has to have the sodium stored covered in oil to keep it from bonding with air and its humidity. But I thought and still think that it's volatility makes for an impressive visualized image if not outright demonstration (as my chemistry teacher in high school did), one that possesses no small educational value.

Jake said...

I really hate to hear that, man. But it seems you're keeping a good sense of humor about it. That campaign ad is one of the best ever. I always love it when you post it.

Sherri said...

Teaching today isn't what it used to be. You're more like the kind that taught thirty years ago. The Jaime Escalante and Joe Clark figures who inspired us. Dedicated and sincere educators whose mission was to get the students into thinking critically and responsibly. Today's teachers teach a book or actually they teach a website so that the students make good on end of course testing. Does that lead them to THINK though? But I don't doubt that those students you had so briefly were made an impression upon. I would have loved to have you as a teacher "Mister Knight" :)

Gil said...

Chris, you are a Hawkeye Pierce in an industry plagued with nothing but Major Burns. I'm on your side my friend but we had best face the facts, originality in education isn't appreciated as it once was. Hope these people will come to realize what they lost when they let you go.

Stosh said...

I would dare any public or private school to bring Christopher Knight aboard as a full time history and social studies teacher.

The students he teaches will come out of his tutelage as thoughtful considerate responsible and serious young citizens. You want a teacher who can change the world for the better. Well here you go.

As a bonus he can also teach cinematography and school newspaper/website.

John Wright said...

When I was in high school and took chemistry the textbook and I'm quoting verbatim, said that sodium "is highly explosive" because of how it reacts with water. This was in the mid 1980s. You didn't tell the students anything new. If you wanted to give them something to think about then you did that. That's commendable, not punishable. I thought that's what all teachers are supposed to do.

B Fargo said...

Chris, you know what you should do? Withdraw from being a substitute teacher there and run for the school board instead. That would put you in a place to make a HUGE impact on not only one school but several. You had a terrific message in 2006 and I think since then your beliefs about education have gotten only more popular across the country. Heck you almost won a seat last time! Parents now want much more oversight and control over their children's education. And with your imagination you're sure to get the message across and make people remember it and think about it. I know one thing's for sure, nobody will have to worry about pornography in their kids' school library like there have been in a lot of places, if you're on the job.

Chris Knight said...

Wow. Step away for a few day without looking at your own site and all kind of stuff happens!

I appreciate the goodwill, dear readers. As of this writing I don't know if I'm actually being terminated *yet*. I should learn more in the next day or so. Who knows, maybe they'll let me return to substitute teaching sooner than later.

Being compared to Jaime Escalante and Joe Clark is making my head swell, LOL.

Okay, I need to say something. Am addressing a sentiment that came up in these comments. I absolutely believe that most of the teachers in American pubic schools are truly dedicated and sincere and *competent* in their choice of career. I have had the great pleasure of knowing MANY teachers in public schools and very few of them did not instill in me any measure of faith in their abilities and their agendas. Are there some teachers who shouldn't be in schools? Yes, unfortunately there are. There will be some who come up short, and that's typical of any such organization. I do NOT believe that most teachers want the parents out of the equation, or want to have pornographic (there's no other way to put it) reading material in the school library.

I doubt I'll ever run for any office again. People known to be manic-depressive rarely have the voters' confidence. But that's okay. Small steps toward a better world. I ran for office once, and it was an amazing experience that I've never had any regrets about. I was challenged to run for school board, I did, and I came pretty close to winning at seat. All while mounting (I like to think anyway) a very creative and original campaign that was completely absent any animosity or ill feelings toward others (which, there shouldn't have been any of THAT to begin with). Maybe I'll run again in another 20 or 30 years :-D

Finally, if I had a chance to teach history and social studies in a public school, and be given a wide latitude to work in, I would DEFINITELY teach those full-time. I like to think that God has exposed me to the elements of American government and society and I've emerged a far better man because of it. Maybe now is the time to share whatever wisdom has been gained, with an audience who will one day be the ones making the hard choices in our culture. I could really be proud of that if I did.

Clark said...

You need to run for something again. And make commercials for that too. You made your school board ads in standard television definition, yes? I want to see what you can do with full high-definition!

Aaron said...


You can teach history.

But don't forget that you have also made history

What better person to teach about civics and social studies and history than someone like you?

Whatever system that is, they have let a real diamond fall through their fingers.

They don't just owe you an apology, they should make you a job offer.

Give Tammy a scratch behind the ears for me!