Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Moral Of The Story

Daisy was in my class a few years ago. She tried to cheat her way through, got caught, got embarrassed and started failing. I started mailing her test papers home. Daisy started studying and managed to pass.

Fast forward two years. Daisy is now in Math B and really trying to get that advanced regents diploma. Daisy comes into the room where I teach my AP Calculus class. Daisy says "Wow, AP calculus, I can never do that." My reply is "You can't do it now. When you were young, you were immature and did not take school seriously. You've grown up and matured. You can do anything you want. It might take you a little longer but so what? You'll get there in the end. The only limitations on you are the ones you put on yourself."

Daisy got an 83 on her last Math B test. She came to me, half proud and half ashamed, (ashamed she did not do better), to tell me her grade. I shrieked and hugged her. Here was a girl who stuck pins in a Ms. POd voodoo doll every evening hugging me!

Moral of the story: Never judge your students too harshly. Many grow up to be a lot smarter than we will ever be.

4 comments:

Mrs. H said...

Thanks for the uplifting story! I needed it today. Also, I was wondering, what exactly is Math B?

We have this progression. . .
algebra I
Geometry
Algebra II
PreCal
Calculus

What course would you say Math B corresponds to?

Pissed Off said...

Math B is a combination of geometry and trigonomety and intermediate algebra. I has been so successful (yeh right) that is is being phased out. This year is the last year it is being given. Kids need it for an advanced regents diploma.

Anonymous said...

This story proves a point that those in charge of Education and NCLB fail to recognize---not all students progress at the same rate. There are so many variables that come into play.

This is why standardize tests scores should not be the only determination of both a student or teacher's progress.

This is the cornerstone of Linda Darling-Hammond's thesis, and she was an Obama advisor. Yet Obama picked an anti-teacher, more testing Secretary of Education.

avoicein said...

I laugh when critics say that teachers are afraid to be held accountable for their students' progress.
I think we hold ourselves accountable all of the time and your story is exactly the way that 'progress' should be measured.