Thursday, May 03, 2007

Icing On The Cake

The AP test is almost here. The kids are ready, at least as ready as they will ever be. I think I've killed more trees than any other teacher giving them handouts. I know there is no way they can possibly finish everything that I have given them. I ask them about how many people their mom will cook for if she invites 10 people over and they tell me 20. I tell them that is my philosophy with prep work. Even though there will be leftovers, it is better to have to much than too little.

A few of my kids are really uptight about the class. They are nervous as hell. I know I made them that way by giving them such hard stuff to do all term. Now I am using the opposite strategy. I'm telling them that the test really doesn't matter all that much. The important thing is that they learned a lot. They learned that they could take Calculus and that they would understand it, even if their grades didn't show it. They learned how to approach problems and how to look for clues. I tell them that the exam is like licking the bowl when mom is making a cake. Eating the cake which is good. The icing is just an added treat. Whether they score a 1 or a 5, my kids are successes. Getting college credit is nice, but most will never graduate early anyways. And, if they do, it just means they will work a year longer in their life. Saving money in college is also a myth. They will pay by the semester, not the credit. Completing the class and doing their best is all that matters. that is what makes them winners.

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