Degrees and Certifications:
BA in History Middle School Science certification Earth and Space Science certification
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 16 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.
architecture and renovations
I have two sons, Jesse, who is 27 and a Paramedic-Firefighter in Morehead City, and Cameron, who is 23 and an Ocean Engineer working for Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia. Jesse has a wife and two kids with another due in February (my grandchildren). Vanessa is 6 and Brantley is 3.
My wife and I are moving to Morehead City in September, and I am thrilled to be at Swansboro Middle School and am looking forward to a great year meeting many new students.
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.
Notes will be turned in for a grade.
Flashcards will be checked 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 except when the teacher has approved their use, for example for listening to music. 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.
When students turn in work online, only assignments shared to me through Google Docs and with the “comments” and “revision history” functions turned on will be accepted.
- No assignments that are attachments to emails
- No copy and pasted assignments
- No Google Docs with comments and revision history turned off
Allow the teacher to teach
Allow other students to learn
Treat everyone with kindness and respect
Clean up after yourself
Do your own work
We spend a lot of time together. How we choose to do business together can make it fun or make it a very long class. I treat people with respect. I would like to be treated with respect in return. My policies are designed to foster this respect and also to keep things flowing in the classroom with a minimum of distraction. For example, I do not want to be asked by 25 students if they can sharpen their pencil. Over the course of the day, that is 75 stoppages just for that. Then add in use of stapler, hole punch, bathroom, etc, and we'll never get anything done. My policies are written or linked below. Please be aware of them.
They are also posted in the classroom.
How We Do Business Together
I will treat you like an adult unless you are acting like a child.
Bathroom Policy is that students can use the bathroom downstairs by the gym. As long as they do this like an adult, they can
keep this privilege. If they do not, they will have to be escorted.
Use pencil sharpener, stapler, punch without asking.
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
Listen when I talk
Turn in your work
Study for tests
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
Welcome to 7th Grade Science. I love science! I love understanding how things work. We will be learning about how things in our world work - like our bodies and the Earth's atmosphere.
If you click on "Topics of Study" in the left sidebar, the link will take you to assignments and other information about that topic.
Subpages (9): Grading How to Make A Foldable Links to Science Sites Notebook Bookmarking Scot's Power School Codes Supplies for Class The Science Notebook The Weekly Scientist Challenge Topics of Study
Students have 3 main categories in which they will be graded.
- Class assignments
- Notes, vocabulary, reading an article, drawing a diagram, quizzes, and so forth.
- This will be most of the workload.
- 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
- At the end of the unit, how well did the student understand the material?
Work has a due date listed in PowerSchool. If an assignment is not turned in on the due date, the student will have 7 days to complete it and turn it in. So if an assignment was due Monday, I must have it the following Monday or it will become a permanent zero.
- 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, without penalty, 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.
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 you 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.
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. 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 notebooks
OPTIONAL: Stick-on notebook dividers (don't put them on anything, we will set up notebooks together)
pens or pencils
500 index cards (3x5")
- I can keep these for the students and pass them out for making flashcards or your student can keep their own
earbuds or headphones
- 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. One will be for Vocabulary and Labs, the other for Notes, Weather Observations, and Bell Ringers.
The Vocabulary will be in the front section of the Vocab/Lab Book while the labs will start in the back and work forward.
In the Notes/ Bell Ringers Book, we will have notes and other assignments in the front, and Bell Ringers in the back working forward, and a bookmark in the middle marking our weather observation chart.
There are model notebooks in the classroom to help you set up yours, and there are photos below that might also help.
The Weekly Scientist Challenge
Now that we have no one left at the student level in McCarthy's homeroom and almost no one left at the student level in Lewis' homeroom, let's step it up a bit.
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. As things stand currently, there really is not much of a difference. So here is the difference maker:
Each Monday, 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.
Topics of Study
Please click a topic to open the resources for that unit
Structure and Function of Living Organisms