Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Just Keep Swimming

Sometimes things don't go as planned, kind of like the beginning of my school year.  Last March I found out my teaching schedule for the upcoming school year and saying that I was pleased would be an understatement.  Algebra 2 Concepts and Skills is the dreaded math class.  No one wants to teach it because it's the Juniors who have had one bad experience after in math and they now hate math and don't do well.  I taught Algebra 2 CS last year and absolutely fell in love with the class and the kids.  We most definitely didn't have the best Algebra 2 scores on campus, but they had beautiful growth and their hatred for math transitioned to a strong dislike (#win).  I had one request going into my second year - "please give Algebra 2 CS."  I was happily given that class because no one in their right mind requests the class.  I was also given Financial Algebra.  If I wasn't wearing a skirt, I would've been doing cartwheels out of the office when I found out about Financial Algebra.  Almost all of my Juniors that I'd spent the last year working with would be taking Financial Algebra the next year, which meant I would have them again!

The first week was pure bliss.  I already knew most of my Seniors and I managed to get my new Juniors to buy into me and Algebra 2.  My second year was exponentially better than the first and it was too good to be true.  So the administration changed my schedule.  Completely.  No more Algebra 2 CS.  No more Financial Algebra.  I switched to a regular Algebra 2 course and from Financial Algebra to Algebra 1 Block (dun dun dun).  Block is a 2 hour course with the same group of kids.  In other words, Block is rough.  To my most pleasant surprise, I've been able to actually love my new kiddos.  I'll be honest, there were some serious bitter feelings towards them because I was ripped from my original kiddos, but I think I've come around.  Don't get me wrong, Block is still rough.  I consider it a pretty successful day if we can make it through the two hours without anyone relieving their gastrointestinal pressure in class or announcing that they need to go outside to spit.  One of my babies (yes, I refer to the Freshman as babies) asked me if he could "go fart outside" today.  Hey, at least he's thinking of others.  That's progress!

On my second day with the babies we wrote goals.  As a parting gift, I would like to leave you with one of their personal goals and the three steps he will take to achieve said goal.  Kids say the darndest things.

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