The MEGnitude of Change

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Sep 11 2012

“Two class points for honesty.”

“Ms. Barnett, you were so nervous just then!”

This afternoon, I was observed during my notoriously unruly class by a group of seven or so teachers at my school, as a part of our Great Expectations training. It’s a room full of characters, and they are either on their A game or going a little nutso. Today, thankfully, they showcased their geometric prowess — but the moment the group of teachers left, my kids called me out on my nerves. So, I rewarded them for their honesty with class points — two steps closer to a reward of food on Friday.

While the observation wracked my nerves, it gave me some valuable feedback. Hearing the comments of my colleages helped me to see where I am strong and to see where I can still grow.

Today, I saw something special in my class: they have incredible energy, and when I can direct it to productive means, they are on fire. We can get there — we can rock this math like nobody’s business. We’re a team, and we can laugh together. They know me well enough to know when I’m nervous, and I trust them enough to laugh about my own stutters and missteps. We are building trust — and my kids are starting to feel willing to rock some math.

The variable, then, is me. Can I get them to the final goal of passing the EOI? Will I give them the content they need to succeed? Today, I was reminded that ultimately, the power is in my hands. My kids are there, ready to drive toward a goal. I need to build them the road to the right destination.

About this Blog

My journey in mathematics and beyond

High School

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