Mr. Scot

Phone: 434-996-5645


Degrees and Certifications:

BA in History Middle School Science certification Earth and Space Science certification

Mr. Scot

About Mr. Scot


I earned a Bachelor's degree in History from the University of Maryland, graduating in 1985.

Having moved to California after graduating, I needed to return to school to earn a Teaching License under California regulations. I attended Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo for 18 months, completing the program in 1986.

From 1986-2004, I lived and taught in central California on the beach, in the mountains and on an Indian reservation in north Idaho, and in the foothills of central Virginia. I have also lived in Taos, New Mexico; Vienna, Virginia (my hometown); and College Park,  Maryland. After moving back to the east coast, I attended the University of Virginia and earned a Master’s degree, allowing me to become a school administrator. I left education from 2004 - 2012, and returned to teaching when I moved to North Carolina in the summer of 2012. From 2012 - 2018, I taught high school social studies and Marine Science, and middle school science, STEAM, and AIG.

In addition to being a teacher for 17 years and a principal for 8, I have been an EMT and ambulance driver,  a licensed x-ray tech and lithotripter working in an operating room for 6 years, the owner and chef of a restaurant, and the owner of a commercial real estate business renting out offices and restaurant space in a building that was built in 1904 and took me 3 years, working mostly by myself, to renovate.


My hobbies are:

being on the water - sailing, power-boating, and kayaking


playing music - guitar, bass, drums (kit and hand drums), keyboards, and more

reading - I especially like mysteries and Sci Fi, but Fantasy was my favorite when I was your age.



urban planning

architecture and renovations


I have two sons, Jesse, who is 28 and a Paramedic-Firefighter in Morehead City and is studying to be an Emergency Room doctor, and Cameron, who is 24 and an Ocean Engineer working for Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia. Jesse has a wife and three kids (my grandchildren).

My wife and I live in Morehead City, and I am thrilled to be at Swansboro Middle School and am looking forward to a great year meeting many new students.

Contact Me


Please email me (preferred) or call if you have a concern.


I monitor my school email account from about 730 am - 400 pm M-F, but will often be on it later.


Please do not call after 900 pm or before 700 am.  If you have met me you know I need all the beauty sleep I can get.



You may also call the school to schedule a conference.  910-326-3601


Except on the short answer section of tests, students will write in complete sentences.


Students write essays often, both on tests and as classwork.


Students will do assignments called "Article of the Week," where they read for information and practice understanding what they read, how to recognize bias, and how to form an educated opinion about what they have read.


Students often work in groups, sometimes of their choosing, sometimes not.


Students will be required to learn student skills including note taking, making flash cards, highlighting, and summarizing.

       Notes will be turned in for a grade.

       Flashcards will be checked for a grade.

       Summaries will be turned in for a grade.


Students are not to use Google to find the answers to their assignments.  There are a variety of reasons for this, ...

  • the foremost being that this is not learning.  
  • We must grapple with something to understand or learn.  This productive struggle is what creates learning.
  • Copying text from Google and pasting it into your assignment is both illegal and mindless.
  • Students need to know how to do real research (not Google).  
  • The last reason is that there is so much information on Google that you might find an answer that is technically right, but wrong for the application we are studying.


Students will not have cellphones in class. Cell phones are to be out of sight and not used in class. If a cell phone is in use during class, it will be taken and returned to the student at the end of the day. If this is a recurring problem, it will be referred to the administration.

Class Rules:

   Allow the teacher to teach

   Allow other students to learn

   Treat everyone with kindness and respect

   Clean up after yourself

   Do your own work


Education is ...

like a pot-luck.  If you don't bring something, you don't eat.


~ Dr. Will Boone

How To Do Well in My Class

   Take Notes

    Listen when I talk

    Turn in your work

    Study for tests

         highlight notes

         rewrite your notes

         make flashcards of vocabulary and key concepts

         write a one paragraph summary of the lesson

    Write in complete sentences.

    Think.  This is the most important.



It is not enough to just jump the hoops, like copying someone else's assignment and turning it in so that you get a grade.


The purpose of an education is to become wiser, learn about the world and yourself, and form ideas of what you stand for, who you are and what you will do with your life.  Jumping the hoops and doing just enough to get by won't give you this gift that education offers. Science, History, Language Arts, and other classes are not as important as the process of school.  It is not so much about learning facts. It is learning how to think.

What To Do After Absence

  Get notes from a friend

  Go to Power School and find the assignments that you missed.

  Do them and turn them in.  You have 3 days to turn in work after an absence.

7th Grade Science and Social Studies

I love understanding how things work. It is so cool to be teaching science AND social studies. Science looks at how the physical world works and social studies examines how people live together in that world, how we affects each other and how events affect us. 



Students have 3 main categories in which they will be graded. In Science, these are:

  • Class assignments
    • Notes, vocabulary, reading an article, drawing a diagram, quizzes, and so forth.
    • This will be most of the workload.
  • Labs
    • This grade will be based on the student's lab reports and also their work during the labs, so each lab has two grades - “lab report” and “lab performance.”
    • Lab performance is based on ...
      • Handling equipment safely and in a "professional" manner
      • Working cooperatively with a partner
      • Working in a self-directed (semi-independent) manner
    • Lab report is based on ...
      • having all the sections of a lab report
        • including having a conclusion that shows you understand the concept being taught
  • Tests
    • At the end of the unit, how well did the student understand the material?


 In Social Studies, these are:

  • Class assignments
    • Notes, vocabulary, reading an article, drawing a diagram, quizzes, and so forth.
    • This will be most of the workload.
  • Projects
  • Tests

Work has a due date listed in PowerSchool. If an assignment is not turned in on the due date, the student will have 2 days to complete it and turn it in. There is a 15 point reduction for each day late.

  • All assignments for a unit should be done before the test for the unit. This is because the assignments teach or reinforce what has been taught which students will need to know for the test.
  • If a student does not finish the assignment in class, it is homework. This does not include labs or quizzes.
  • I will enter a grade of zero when an assignment is not turned in on time, but I will change that grade as soon as it is turned in. The zero is to remind us both that the assignment was not turned in.

Please see the additional information at the links below.

Notebook Bookmarking

Students use composition books for their class notebooks. In some ways, this is really great - like they don't lose papers. But in two ways this is a pain:


1) When students never look at questions or comments I write on their work when they get their notebook back

2) When I have to try to find the work that they are turning in to grade


So to counter these problems, I have asked students to have mini post-it pads.


For the first problem,  I will use these post-its to mark the pages in your notebook where you need to go back and fix something or answer a question for me. Your grade will either be a 60 (incomplete code) or will be lower than a 100 (but you can fix it and I'll change the grade). When the correction is made, see below.  My post-it bookmark will have a ? on it.


To counter the second problem, students will mark the pages they want to be graded with a mini post-it that says "Grade Me" at the top edge where I can see it when it is sticking out of the notebook.  Once I grade the page, I will stick this post-it on the inside front cover of their notebook to use again. Students can replace them as they wear out.


Scot's Power School Codes


0 - Not Turned In

       the assignment has not been turned in.  It should still be completed and turned in and I will change the grade.


1 - Sent Out of Class or Cheating on Test

       The student was sent out of class because of disruptive behavior and therefore did not participate.

       This cannot be made up as it will only be for participatory assignments like labs and games,

       or for cheating on a quiz or test


60 - Incomplete

       The assignment was turned in, but it was incomplete or had too many mistakes to accept as is. It should be

       finished or corrected and turned back in for a grade change.


All other grades are the earned grade based on number correct divided by number possible.


If you have a grade of less than 100, you can fix whatever is wrong and turn it back in AS LONG AS ...

   you include a sentence explaining why your answer was wrong so that I know you get it.

Supplies for Class


2 composition books for a Science notebook

1 composition book for a SS notebook.

OPTIONAL:  Stick-on notebook dividers    (don't put them on anything, we will set up notebooks together)

pens or pencils

500 index cards (3x5") 

colored pencils or markers


  • The color is up to you, but I recommend yellow or orange or green as blue and purple get darker with age and blot out pencil writing.
  • Students may want to use more than one color

4 pads of mini-post-its (1 3/8" x 1 7/8")  any color

  • These are about $7 for a 12 pack at Staples
  • The will be used for me to mark work that needs attention in your student's notebook

The Science Notebook

We will be using 2 composition books for our science notebook. We will have sections for Vocabulary, Labs, Notes, Weather Observations, and Bell Ringers.


The labs, notes, and so on will be in the front section while the vocabulary will start in the back and work forward. The second notebook is for when we run out of space in the first.


There are model notebooks in the classroom to help you set up yours, and there are photos below that might also help.


The Social Studies Notebook

Notes and other assignments will be in the front section while the vocabulary will start in the back and work forward. 



The Weekly Scientist Challenge

In order to keep your Scientist level or to be promoted to a Scientist level you really need to stand out from the Lab Tech. Here is the difference maker:


Periodically,  I will post a challenge that needs to be answered if you want to be (or stay) a Scientist. Sometimes this will be a research question, other times a small project, and yet other times it will be teaching a lesson to the class or to a younger class of children.


Science Topics of Study


Earth's Atmosphere

The Water Cycle



Force and Motion

Simple Machines

Single-celled Organisms


Human Body Systems

Genetics and Heredity

Social Studies Topics of Study


Types of Government

Economic Systems

The Renaissance

The Reformation

The Age of European Exploration

Colonization of the New World

The Scientific Revolution and Age of Enlightenment

The Age of Revolutions (American, French, Latin American)


Industrial Revolution


World War 1

The Inter-War Years (Jazz Age, Depression)

World War 2

The Cold War (Communism, Cold War, Nuclear Arms Race, Korean War, Vietnam War)


The Contemporary World

Personal Finance