Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Wall

That infamous wall that we hear others talk about...the one they hit when they are doing something that is difficult...I hit it earlier this week (with teaching) and feel like I'm sliding down it!!!!!

The last four days in a nutshell...
Three of my best (and favorite) students got caught by a substitute, cheating on a science test I had given them. CAUGHT! BIG was passing a note with answers to the others. Of those three students (all of whom disappointed me seriously), two have apologized...the other doesn't seem to understand what she's done. FRUSTRATING!

In my regular math class, we covered integers in January...they are not easy, but I expected my students to have learned and be able to recall the rules for adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing them by now. Today while teaching I answered the same questions about adding and subtracting integers that I've been answering since January!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHH!

Someone please remind me why I do this!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

This is why I teach...

I have a student who recently transferred from another district. I think he is a precious child! He's funny and smart and charismatic. He also really wants good grades, so he does his homework and studies and all that other good stuff. This young man has just been through a huge transition. He's moved (not very far, but it may as well have been across the country) in the middle of his seventh grade year.

Remember that what I love the most about teaching this age is that I can develop relationships with them while at the same time teaching them to think for themselves. So I asked Zack if he missed his old school. He said "Yes ma'am. It was easier there. Or at least I had better grades."

Over the last couple of weeks I've started giving homework or classwork quizzes, where I give a homework or classwork assignment, they do it, we go over it, then I give them 5 problems to work and count it as a quiz grade. It gives them the opportunity to practice working problems with a little more pressure, and also allows me to have more grades to help bring up their averages. But, the problem is that each problem is worth twenty points each...if they miss one the make a C.

So....(I know...this has been incredibly long) yesterday Zack missed the last one of the problems, which gave him a C. He was very disappointed because he's not used to making Cs. So at lunch when he walked by me he said "Now you know why I don't like it here. I can't even make a good grade on a second grade test." So now I know it's my job to protect this precious boy and help him realize all the potential in him.

His parents are concerned about him...they don't feel that he's transitioning well. I can understand that concern, but I'm not seeing a withdrawn, upset child at school. I just hope that he will continue to do all the good things he's doing and I can help him find success here.