Mac Lab Report

Job Opening at a Nice Mac-Infested School

- 2002.10.31

California's got a teacher shortage, and we're really feeling it. We've been trying, for example, to hire a 9th grade physical science/chemistry teacher for about 10 weeks now. Candidate after candidate isn't certified, doesn't want to move to our town, is already hired, has never taught before, and so on.

If you're looking for a position and you're certified to teach in California or in another state, please get in touch with us. Our school is only five years old, and we have a suburban clientele most of whom commute to San Francisco or Oakland, California. Deer Valley High is the third largest high school in northern California and currently enrolls around 3,300 students. We use a block-schedule, school-within-a-school model, and consequently have six principals, (four in charge of semi-independent "houses"), one associate principal, and one in charge of the whole garden party.

The position is for a 9th grade physical science teaching position, so certification in chemistry, physics, or physical science is desired. There is one section of "Chemistry in the Community," which is pretty much the kind of course you think it is based on the course description. In addition, you get:

  • a 500 MHz Blueberry DVD-equipped iMac on your desk running OS 9.2.2. (You knew there had to be a reason this job opening is posted on a Mac website, didn't you?)
  • a Dell something-or-other you can use running Windows 2000 via a password I don't have
  • access to iBook laptop carts and Vernier interface equipment
  • enough older Macs to set up your own networked lab
  • built in Mac-technical support (me)
  • a phone in your classroom (gasp) and high speed internet that is actually becoming more reliable as time goes by

You get an email address, too.

And a friendly and cooperative science department, which is rare enough. If you like to tinker, I have dozens of Macs sitting in storage waiting to be refurbished. If you don't, well, that's okay too.

No district is perfect, and this one is no exception. But it has some very good points, one of which is that it is easy to accumulate hours on the experience axis of the pay-scale.

The address is:

Deer Valley High School
4700 Lone Tree Way
Antioch, California 94531

If you're curious, email me at I didn't want to post the phone number, but I will send it to you if you ask nicely. Or you can get it from the website.

If you're really serious, go ahead and email our principal directly at

And remember, during the interview, when I ask "Mac or PC?" you're supposed to say, "Well, I can handle both platforms, but I really prefer. . . ."

Not that I'd want to put words in your mouth or anything.

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is a longtime Mac user. He was using digital sensors on Apple II computers in the 1980's and has networked computers in his classroom since before the internet existed. In 2006 he was selected at the California Computer Using Educator's teacher of the year. His students have used NASA space probes and regularly participate in piloting new materials for NASA. He is the author of two books and numerous articles and scientific papers. He currently teaches astronomy and physics in California, where he lives with his twin sons, Jony and Ben.< And there's still a Mac G3 in his classroom which finds occasional use.

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