A former student heard it was my last day and came to visit. He is now attending a very prestigious college, taking linear algebra in pursuit of his engineering degree. (He placed out of calculus.) This student did not do well on the Packemin placement test and was put in the lowest level math class as a freshman. (He is from South America, so his placement should be no surprise to anyone.) I got to know him when he was a sophomore, saw how brilliant he was and pushed him ahead. He did trig as independent study, got a 98 on the regents and then took BC calculus and got a 5 on the exam.
This is old stuff that I have written about before. Today, as we were talking, the ninth grade teacher he had recognized him. She commented on how smart he was even back then. It struck me that she should have moved him then, but did not. Truthfully, it is not her fault. She was new and inexperienced and had no idea how exceptional he was and how she could have helped him. Still, the point is that if she had asked an experienced teacher, or had a decent supervisor, this kid would not have been held back then.
My big mouth always gets the best of me and as Mr. AP was around at the time, I loudly said, "Someone really messed up on Owen's placement." Now, anyone who knows Mr.AP knows he is
No one is perfect. But, we have to admit our mistakes before they can be corrected. If it wasn't for the AP Guidance, this kid would never have gotten where he is today. I recognized his potential and she acted.
I am off Mr. AP's mailing list, but I still see his memos. (They are so amusing various department members forward them to me. He sent out a slide show full of serene messages. Here is one of my favorites:
Life is school and we are here to learn. Problems are lessons that come and go. What has been then will serve us for the days of our lives.Too bad he hits the forward button before he reads the message.