I started today in a great mood.
My students were met with a smile this morning that scared a few. They spread a rumor that I would be testing today. In reality, I was just feeling good.
I had several interactions with students that I would describe as "relationship building." This was mostly me interacting with them in more of a mentoring capacity than a teaching one. This happens most frequently with the kids in geometry, but I cherish it whenever it happens
Last night before I left the building, three young women came into my class just to hang out and chat. I have two of them in class, but most of our interactions have been tense with me trying to redirect their behavior to productivity. It was really nice to be able to just hang out and talk to them as though they are people.
Because they are people.
After removing the young men from class yesterday and their conversation with the principal, they were AWESOME today! I made sure to tell them so. I don't think it's a permanent change, so I'm taking it one day at a time. I will praise them when they are productive and try to redirect them when they aren't.
One of my geometry students came up to ask me why I didn't recommend her for Honors next year. I was very impressed that she did because I know that she has difficulty approaching teachers with that kind of thing. I told her that I felt that she was capable of doing the work, but that I was worried about her stress level. I chose not to recommend her because I wanted to force the conversation.
At the end of our talk, I changed my recommendation.
As I told several other students, I told her that I believed in her and would be in the high school next year to help her if she needed it. I know that very few of the teachers at the high school teach in the same fashion that I do. Many of them are traditionalists and some of my students have difficulty moving back to that style after a year with me. I want to be able to support them however I can.
It has been 4 years since I've been in the same building as my former students as I'm looking forward to that experience.
So far, none of my Math 8 students have questioned my recommendations or asked to be put into a higher class.
I wish I knew what I was going to be teaching...
Maybe I should ask the students. They always seem to know things before the teachers.