Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Death of a Program

Last semester I had some Math A students that were really struggling. They needed help, more help than I could possibly give them. I came up with an incredible idea. I paired one of my advanced placement calculus students with one math A students. The AP student became the private tutor of the math A student. The kids worked together all year, exchanging e-mail addresses and phone numbers and even ended up getting together to work on weekends. This went far beyond my expectations. It was a great program. The weak kids all ended up not only passing, but mastering the subject. The AP kids learned that everyone is not as smart as they are and felt rewarded every time one of their kids passed an exam. As far as I could see, it was a win-win situation for all. This semester I wanted to expand the program to include students that are not in my class, open up the tutoring to anyone who wanted to partake. Alas, the administration feels it is more important for me to sit in the overcrowded, noisy library every day and tutor one or two kids (if that many). This way, they can say that there is a teacher available every period in the library. I had to stop my peer tutoring program because of time limitations. I felt an obligation to my tutors. I wrote them glowing letters of recommendation for colleges and scholarships. I stayed late and gave up lunch time when they needed help, paying them back for the hours they gave up. I asked the administration for a flexible C-6 assignment, so I could keep the program alive. I WAS TOLD NO!!!!!!!! And so, the program is dying.

3 comments:

Lsquared said...

This is really sad. I know good principals are rare, but this seems below averge, even for an administrator. It's a shame when good programs die because of pointless inflexibility.

Pissed Off said...

We must make us look good on paper. That is all that counts.

Jonathan said...

Damn. Math is particularly well-suited (no pun intended) for cross grade peer tutoring. We use it in my school, to good effect. I also occasionally 'hire' an upperclassman to work as a service aid in one of my freshmen classes. Hand out and collect papers, answer the occasional question. The aid gets a kick out of it, the kiddies like getting to know an older kid. Like you said, win-win.

But I guess in your school, if you figure out something nice... Oh well, that's what you get for showing good initiative.