Monday, November 10, 2008
A Positive Post For A Change
My husband and son say all I ever do is bitch, bitch bitch. Whether it is on this blog or in a letter to the editor, I bitch. They claim I never say anything positive about my school. Well, sit back, that is about to change right here.
One of the most important things a student can do before choosing a college is to go visit it. My own kids put one foot on some campuses and knew the school was not for them. How they knew, I don't know, but they knew.
Many of my students are inner city kids with no way to visit schools outside the city. Our new college advisor is arranging school tours for these kids. Next week they are going to Stonybrook. Monday they went to Cornell and Binghamton. I used to hate missing a day of instruction but in my old age I realize there is more to life than math (I know, that is hard to believe) and I encourage participation on these trips. But, I still hate to miss a day of work.
I had an epiphany today. Why not give them the work to do on the bus? It has to take at least 4 hours to get to Cornell. There are plenty of smart kids on the trip. Why waste the time listening to I-pods and chatting with friends when they could be doing math?
I quickly ran off extra copies of the day's lesson and ran it down to the lobby, where the kids were meeting. At first, I was greeted with not as much enthusiasm as I expected. But, when I explained that I was worried about them being bored on the bus and that after all, I was the only teacher worried about this. They should be thanking me instead of complaining. Grudgingly, they accepted the assignment and those without pens scrounged around for them. I did get a few thanks out of some. I hope they really meant it.
Next week I will be more prepared for the trip. I'll remind them a day in advance to pack writing equipment along with their cell phones and I-pods.
I love these kids. I love how my school is helping them get ready for their future.