Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mission Accomplished

I have a 17 year old boy in my algebra 2 class that spent roughly the first two weeks of class looking at me with a "Who do you think you are" kind of look.  He made comments about me being young, about the ISN being "corny," about the types of bags I carry, he talked while I was talking, etc.  I smiled through it all knowing that I would wear him down eventually.  I'm fairly used to it.  Kids (especially ones that are used to being difficult) feel the need to feel out a teacher, especially one that is young.  I take that kid and make it my goal to win them over.

I don't yell and scream and punish them.  I kill them with kindness.  I show them that I'm not going to write them off as a "bad kid" and ignore them or give up on them.  I am helpful and constructive and show them that if they let me in I can help them.  I talk to them about my day and life and answer their questions when the time is appropriate.  I let them see that I'm a person and that personal connection helps big time.

Well I'm on day 11 here and mission accomplished.  And just like many of the other difficult kids I've won over, there's a pretty cool kid inside.  Today a girl asked what 2^3 meant (she's from Jamaica and has never really taken a math class before...ever).  So I explained it and showed her how a couple other ones would work and she was ok.  As I go back to what we were doing the boy turns to her and asks her to try 2^4 and then helped her to work through it and get 16.  He didn't just tell her the answer, but truly walked her through the steps.  It was so simple, but I thought it was the just sweetest thing.

4 comments:

  1. Just wanted to let you know I've been reading your blog all morning and have been really enjoying it! Please keep posting. I'll be starting my second yr teaching in the fall at a new school and want to try doing interactive notebooks and your posts are truly inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you SO much, you totally made my day! I'm excited that you're reading!!

      Interactive notebooks are the best thing I've ever started doing. They completely changed how I've taught and made my teaching a million times better. I'm going to try to post all of the stuff that I'm doing with them and what they're all about. If there's anything I miss that you want to know more about please don't hesitate to ask :) They may seem overwhelming at first, but once you get into a routine with them they're not scary at all.

      Delete
  2. I was pointed here by one of @mathtastrophe's tweets. I'll start my third year of teaching by moving from middle school to ninth grade in a new system this fall, and I plan to try using interactive notebooks, too. I've really enjoyed what you've shared. Please keep posting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading!!

      I've got tons more to say on the ISN so I'll definitely be posting more about them. I'll also be moving from middle school to 9th grade next year too! I think the notebook will be great for algebra since they learn so much important stuff that they'll need to remember so I'm excited. I've got lots of algebra ideas in the works.

      Delete