Friday, January 28, 2005

This week's adventures in teaching

Not a lot to tell this week. I actually got to teach the same students all week, for a junior high math teacher who just wasn't feeling well. Nice kids, but (veteran teachers, this will come as absolutely no surprise to you!) some of the classes were a little more lively than others. I did have one student in one of those classes, however, who told me she was trying to do a good job for me and not be her usual inattentive slacker. She also let me explain to her all about finding a linear equation with only two points, or a point and a slope. I'm not sure if she totally got it -- it is a tough subject to get your head wrapped around, especially if you're just not into math -- but at least she was putting in the effort, which I gathered isn't what she usually does. I had a few other such success stories this week, but none quite like that. All in all, it was quite a week, and it was certainly a contrast to the grief I had to deal with last year in Marysville.

Of course, that was all counterbalanced by an ugly incident at Sylvan. One of my students is, shall we say, not the best at applying himself. But I seem to have reached him in some ways, and we at least get along, and he seems willing to learn. But this week, I'm not so sure if that's a good thing. I bring my own mechanical pencils, as they're more versatile for what I do than the ordinary wooden ones the students use (hey, I have to use it for four to five hours each night, they only need them for one). After having him for one hour, I looked around and couldn't find it. This student was at another table, so I called out to him to see if he had seen it, or even had it. Yup, he had it. He'd taken it for a joke. Okay, it wasn't funny, but at least he acknowledged it and got it out to return it. I told him I'd come over to get it, but he decided to throw it to me instead. He turned out to be a pretty good shot, as the point hit me right on the nose! Yup, it drew blood -- not a lot, but certainly enough to get me angry! The thing that really gets me goat, however, is that this kid is in high school, and should know better than to steal sharp, pointy objects, and then throw them at people.

He didn't show up for his second session this week. I like to think he was scared of what I would say. I do know that our director wants to have a few words with him, too. Yeah, I plan to speak to him next time I see him -- but one thing I plan to tell him is that he should try out for the javelin throw on his school's track team! He's a natural!

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