Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Day 20: The Power of Duran Duran

One of the first things that a student said to me this morning was "can we do board work today?"

"Heck yes!"

I had planned to have them doing some practice problems, but saw no reason why they couldn't be done on the white boards, so we did!

After going over a few questions on the homework, I had them pick spots on the boards around the room and gave them some problems to work on.  My instructions were:

Do as many as you can
If you finish a problem and feel good about it, move on to the next
You don't need to check in with me unless you have questions
Recap my markers when you're done
They did an amazingly good job with three of these four.  The kids who were pretty solid on the material were able to talk about their different methods of solving inequalities, discussing where the shading should go and pushing each other to justify answer.  The kids who were struggling a bit were able to ask for help and get the attention they needed.  Since I was roaming around the room, the ones who needed help but didn't (couldn't) ask for it were still able to get their needs met as I was able to see them struggling much more clearly.

I also realized that we needed some music, so I played an '80's Britpop playlist in the background while they worked.

I know how regularly I say "I should get the kids up at the board more" but I really should get the kids up at the board more.

Sadly, I can't REALLY do it in my one geometry class since there simply isn't enough room.

The geometry classes in general are starting to really move along. It's taken me a while to figure out what they need in terms of pedagogy and I'm sure it will take more time to get where I want to be, but we're moving in the right direction and I'm really pleased.

I've been making a conscious effort to keep a smile on my face and greet the students by name and at the door as much as I can. I stand in the hall between classes and say good morning to everyone who walks by.  Former students have been coming by for extra help before and after school and during their study halls.  I am feeling pretty good about my place in the community for the students.

Teaching isn't just about content transfer, but about building a community of learners.  I hope that I am doing what I can to build that positive and trusting environment.

Tonight, I am attending a school board meeting to receive a grant for ZomeTools.  I'm pretty pumped about it, but I'm worried that I won't get home for my 9 pm bedtime.

I suppose we all make sacrifices for our students.

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