Degrees and Certifications:
AZ Certified in Chemistry, Physical Science, Earth Science, and General Science B.S. Geology, University of Texas at Austin, 1993, Highest Honors, Phi Beta Kappa M.S. Geosciences (Petrology/Structural Geology), University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 1997 Secondary Teacher Education Program, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 1999
Mrs. Jennifer Reisener
This is my 21st year as a classroom science teacher (19th year at CSHS). As a science major at both the undergradate and graduate level, my perspective on teaching and learning has been strongly influenced by my own teachers, who were not only excellent instructors, but also professional scientists (My Favorite Teachers). I believe that my background adds an essential layer of authenticity to the classroom experience. My science training and experiences strongly impact the learning activities that I provide and the depth of understanding that I impart. In addition, my experiences with students in the classroom have greatly helped to guide and refine my instructional practices. My expectations for students are high, but I provide abundant support structures, and I work hard to help all students find success. On my website you will find many resouces that support the chemistry curriculum and aid student learning. Students and parents can use these resources for review, remediation, and enrichment. Also, please read the helpful tips below:
Tips for Success in Chemistry:
1) Be an authentic learner. Dig In, get dirty, and learn from your mistakes. Mistakes are essential for learning to occur. Mistakes are not shameful. Learning is a messy but fun process.
2) Ask a lot of specific questions. No one explanation works for 100% of the people 100% of the time. Ask for more clarification! Ask for another example!
3) Study frequently so that you can chew up the content in small chunks. In fact, that is why homework is assigned regularly. It makes you review what we learned in class. Do your best. It is rarely graded and we review the answers the next day. It helps you to correct your misconceptions, make connections, and reach mastery. It also means absolutely nothing to you if you have a blank paper when we are reviewing the answers in class.
4) Study in small groups. Discussing chemistry with other people in your class is not only fun, but it also helps you to see others' peoples perspectives on the information and how they are working to understand and internalize it.
5) Come to office hours for individualized help as needed. Office hours are held at least 2-3 times per week. It is to be expected that you will need some individualized help from time to time and that is why teachers hold office hours.
6) Try not to miss class time. You miss out on experiences that cannot be duplicated at office hours.
My tips for success are similar to those of other chemistry teachers who want students to be successful learners. Here is Mr. Guch's advice to parents (and students) posted on his well-known "Cavalcade o' Chemistry" website: https://chemfiesta.org/2015/02/09/000-template-2/
Finally, please know that high school chemistry is a rigorous course and students will find it to be a lot of work and difficult at times. However, if you check out this NAU introductory college chemistry syllabus, NAU Introductory Chemistry, you will see that our expectations are realistic. Your child absolutely needs the preparation of high school chemistry in order to build enough background and understanding to be prepared for college chemistry (assuming that they have career aspirations in science, engineering, environment and sustainability, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, sports medicine, physical therapy, nutrition, etc). The highlighted information on the last page of the NAU syllabus is the foundational content that I cover in one school year (36 weeks). By contrast, ALL of the content listed on the syllabus is what the college professor intends to cover in one semester (15 weeks), and that is just for 1st-semester chemistry. Most majors listed above require at least 2 semesters of chemistry. The faster pace of college chemistry requires that the student work many hours outside of class for each hour in class. At the high school level, a student should be studying a minimum of 1/2 hour a day as he/she complete the daily homework and reviews newly learned material.