The MEGnitude of Change

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Nov 13 2012

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow


Successes today abound:
(1) One of my first period students has been struggling to wake up to get to class, and as a result, he’s in jeopardy of not graduating. Another teacher & I made a home visit to talk with him on Friday, and today, he had the courage to get himself to school. He worked hard, focused on the problems, and aced today’s objectives. I admire his courage.

(2) Yesterday, my fifth period and I struggled. I was frustrated–by their lack of understanding of the content, by their less-than-interested behavior, and by my own feelings outside of the classroom. It wasn’t just a general classroom vibe; it escalated to where one specific student and I butted heads. But today, I checked my feelings at the door, forgot about yesterday, and came in to work. I asked them to do the same. We worked. The student who I struggled with yesterday stayed after class to redo the assignment she had blown off. I admire her humility.

(3) Two of my sixth period students come into class each day and try so hard to learn. They admit that math isn’t their strong suit, and their frustration with the content is compounded by their peers’ talking. Whenever I work on my management skills, it’s for them. Today, I moved them to the front of the room, and they worked as hard as always. They stuck around after class and said, “Ms. Barnett, we feel like we finally get this. Can you grade our exit tickets now?!” They both scored 100%. I admire their perseverance.

No matter what, I am here for my kids. They astound me. We are in this together — this delicate and complex relationship of student/teacher. But here we are.

Today, I am blasting Lupe Fiasco and riding a high. Tomorrow, I will try again.

About this Blog

My journey in mathematics and beyond

High School

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