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.