All the Good Chemistry Jokes Argon

What to know about science teacher Valerie Jaehrling.


Alyssa Brockob

Science teacher Valerie Jaehrling smiles while teaching a lesson. Besides general chemistry, Jaehrling teaches AP chem and physics.

Molly McFadden, Editor

“Inconceivable.” Science teacher Valerie Jaerhling’s favorite movie is “The Princess Bride” and many things that Jaehrling has done in her life could be described as Vizzini would say, inconceivable.

Throughout Jaehrling’s life she has been a driver for the CyRide, a member of the Peace Corps, and now a chemistry teacher. 

Chemistry is Jaehrling’s favorite class to teach because of all the labs the students get to participate in. She said she enjoys watching chemistry students reaction to every experiment, even though she has seen them done lots of times. Although she enjoys teaching each day, her favorite memory came from a simple lab report. When reporting on the mass percent of water, a couple students asked if they could get extra credit if they made Jaehrling laugh. Her response to the proposition was, “Fine. Amuse me.” What did Jaehrling find when grading the reports? A couple of memes of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch with the title “Good Hydrations.”

Jaehrling grew up in Oakland where she participated in FFA, drama, student council, and cross country. As a student, she said that she was sassy, a know-it-all, and a little lippy to teachers. After high school, Jaehrling attended Iowa State University where she studied chemistry. “I’ve seen more lab accidents then I care to think about. That’s why safety goggles are so important,” Jaehrling said.

While in college Jaehrling held a part-time job, driving for CyRide. She said that although this job could be fun, it was stressful because of the company’s high standards. These standards put pressure on Jaehrling to meet precise times and make sure everyone on the bus were satisfied with their trip.

After college, Jaehrling became a member of the Peace Corps. During this, she lived with a host family in Gambia, West Africa, learned to speak Pulaar, and volunteered in many ways. One thing Jaehrling did was start an environmental club at the local school. She said the best part of that project was being able to take the children on a field trip because most of them had never left the village before. “The kids had a blast,” Jaehrling said.

One thing that makes Jaehrling smile are puns. “I like puns and the endlessly odd things that students say,” she said. This love of puns shows when Jaehrling wears her many chemistry-themed shirts. “I probably own six or seven,” Jaehrling said.

So now you know, next time you’re looking to make Jaehrling laugh or get some extra credit, try adding a chemistry pun. I would only do this periodically, though.