Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Like A Bull In A China Shop
In spite of my bitching and moaning about them, I really like my geometry kids. And, in spite of what Mr. AP wants, I decided to keep most of them with me for the rest of the year. I don't know if they will pass or not, but I am not ready to give up on any of them. I also checked their report cards and surprisingly, math seems to be the only subject they are having trouble with. I know it is not just me because I checked transcripts as well and saw repeated failures and low grades in math for years.
Today was the first day and I decided to come at them like a bull in a China shop. I filled out their Delaney cards in advance and put them in assigned seats the second they walked in the door. Some complained about where they were sitting. I held my ground. They did what I demanded. It shocked the hell out of me. I had to get Jimmy out of my class. The guidance counselor promised to remove him but I found him on my new roster today. I went down to see this person and refused to move until a new class was found for him and a new program was printed up. One problem was eliminated.
Many of the kids from other classes were moved out of geometry into a pre-trigonometry class. My kids asked me about it and I explained that it was for those students who could not pass geometry. The pre-trig class is just an algebra enrichment class. They would take trigonometry in September. Mr. AP seems to think this pre-trigonometry class will get them to pass. I don't share his hopes. Trigonometry and advanced algebra are much harder than geometry, at least I think so. I told my kids that I believed they could succeed and pass and that they would be in the same trig classes in September, only they would have one more regents under their belt. They seemed to believe me. I taught. They worked. It was fairly quiet. At times, you could hear a pin drop.
I hate coming on so strong. It is not me. But, if it works, I'll keep up this villainous behavior. I know, if I get them to succeed this year, if I can restore their faith in themselves, I am doing more than teaching them math. I know that I am laying the groundwork for their future success.
I've written hopeful posts about them before, but this time its going to last. Now, let's pray that the geometry regents is not nearly as wierd as the Math B test was.