Talcott Takes Over Teaching AP Physics


Parker Blau

David Talcott stands outside the AP Physics classroom.

David Talcott has taken over teaching AP Physics classes after former teacher Robert Grebe left for an administrative position at Napa High. Talcott, having only taught AP Physics 1 at Campolindo in the past with the exception of 21-22 school year, where he only taught Physics of the Universe, has taken over teaching both AP Physics 1 and 2, which he has not taught since 2014.

Students have mixed feelings about Talcott’s teaching styles. Junior Suraya Mathai-Jackson enjoys “Talcott’s teaching style,” and said that “his stories make the class feel interesting.”

On the other hand, junior Atlas Benko feels that “class started off kind of rough, but it’s getting better as the year goes on.”

Talcott teaches 6 classes, opposed to the 5 classes that most Campolindo teachers teach. making it hard to find time to work on developing a comprehensive curriculum.

Talcott agreed, adding that, “Writing a curriculum for the class is very challenging because there isn’t always enough time to review and edit. Sometimes there are typos and other minor errors that inhibit student learning.”

The challenges Talcott describes are largely due to time issues. “I’m teaching an extra class which means I don’t have as much time during the school year or school day to stay organized or to write and edit curriculum,” he said.

While this can create challenges for students, Mathai-Jackson appreciates the environment Talcott hopes to foster, “where a student has as many opportunities as they need to master the material.”

Benko agreed, and said “…he’s really trying to foster an environment where we understand what he’s teaching versus just solving problems and doing busy work.”

Although Talcott has been welcomed and appreciated by many of his students, some have expressed mild sadness over Grebe’s departure. Benko said, “I liked [Grebe’s] packets and the vocab definitions he put in there. I thought I was really well prepared for the AP with Grebe.”

On a different note, Talcott largely enjoys teaching both AP Physics 1 and 2, stating that, “the best part about teaching these classes is it’s inspiring to see what the kids can do what they’re interested in and where their future will take them. That’s probably the best part and personally getting a chance to teach the higher level content is fun and exciting because you get to do the real and harder labs.”