Thursday, January 26, 2012

Highs and Lows

As of the second term, I am now the Maths teacher for two Form 3 classes.  This poses plenty challenges.  For one, that is 80+ more names I need to learn.  It also means trying to control 40 15-17 year old students, most of which are male, at any given time.  That’s just the beginning of the challenges. But I love math. Math is what I know and love.  It should be easier, right? I also really love these kids, even though they trouble me and vex me.
Last week I had given the two classes an Ex. There really is no excuse why they should have done poorly.  I taught the lesson and then retaught the lesson. I offered to hold a review session after school. I gave examples. I gave more examples.  I brought in demonstrations. Turns out, I failed them; and they failed the Ex.  Most did pretty poorly, and I don’t know if it was something I did, or didn’t do.  I wanted to go over the Ex questions in class before moving on so I had carried home 80 books to mark instead of waiting to mark them during school. When I showed up to class with their Ex books and ready to give them answers no one would listen, everyone was out of their seat, being very rude and very disrespectful to me. I was so upset. I was there ready to help them and they seemingly didn’t want my help. They didn’t care whatsoever. I was so disappointed in their behavior I actually walked out of class.  This same scenario happened in both classes.  The whole rest of the day and that night, I felt so terrible. Terrible that they didn’t even care that they failed. Terrible that they didn’t care that I was there to help them, that I want them to understand maths. Terrible for letting them down, by giving up on them and walking out. 
I knew I had to do something. Their behavior was so disappointing; I decided to have a motivational talk with them.  I first explained that they really upset me and how they upset me.  I also explained to them that I did not have to come to school every morning and that I only do so because I want to. I told them that I do not get paid like other teachers, that I do this because I want to, not for the money, not because I have to.  I want them to do well.  I want them to succeed.  I know they have so much potential. I am not giving them homework to punish them.  I am there to help them. I am there for them.
I decided to give each student a piece of colored paper; on which they were to write one way that I show them respect, one way they show me respect and a short term and long term goal. These are some of the responses I got :-) :

You show us respect by (I show respect to students):
  • ·      Coming to class everyday
  • ·      Saying good morning/afternoon
  • ·      Taking your time and teaching us
  • ·      Trying to help us
  • ·      Staying in class when we are making noise
  • ·      Speaking good to us
  • ·      Using kind words to us
  • ·      You understand me
  • ·      You help me when I call you
  • ·      Answering my questions when I ask
  • ·      Helping me understand my work
  • ·      Talking to students in a proper way
  • ·      Telling students to be quiet instead of saying shut up
  • ·      You always listen to us
  • ·      You don’t tell me to shut up
  • ·      Show kindness to us
  • ·      Coming to class even when no one listens
  • ·      Going over the exercises more than one time so that we can get it
  • ·      Teach slow
  • ·      Being nice
  • ·      The way you teach us all
  • ·      “I should show you respect”
  • ·      Smiling
  • ·      You teach slow and explain
  • ·      By not shouting
  • ·      You make sure we understand
  • ·      You want us to learn and be the best person
  • ·      “You always respect us”
I show you respect by (students show respect to me):
(This list is shorter because most students had similar responses)
  • ·      Listening
  • ·      Raising my hand and waiting until you come to me
  • ·      Being ready for class
  • ·      Doing my work
  • ·      Speaking properly to you
  • ·      Not disrupting class
  • ·      Paying attention
  • ·      Sitting and listening to you teaching
  • ·      Being friendly
  • ·      By having [good] behavior
  • ·      Doing your homework
  • ·      Doing your classwork
  • ·      Doing what you say
  • ·      “I will stop talking plenty and listen more”
  • ·      “Because I have respect for myself and I want to learn because it not for you it is for me”
  • ·      Plan my career
  • ·      Be something good in life
  • ·      Become a sailor
  • ·      Meet Justin Bieber
  • ·      Start my own business
  • ·      I want to be an engineer (this may have been after I said I am an engineer)
  • ·      Become a lawyer
  • ·      Do better in my school work
  • ·      Go to college and come out something good in life
  • ·      Read books to increase knowledge
  • ·      Live happily ever after
  • ·      Be independent and creative
  • ·      Become educated
  • ·      Get a diploma
  • ·      “Get a job to take care of my family and let the rest of my life lead my way"
  • ·      "I want to be my own independent woman so that no one can show their self on me”
  • ·      Become a chef
  • ·      I want to have a hospital for animals
  • ·      Become a medical doctor
  • ·      Travel the world
  • ·      Go to college to be an artist
  • ·      Finish school and become something good in life
  • ·      Travel the word and pick all different fruits
  • ·      Become a nurse
  • ·      Strive for excellence every time
  • ·      Become a pilot
  • ·      Achieve good education and work for my own money to be independent
  • ·      Be the greatest engineer and architect
  • ·      Get a job
  • ·      Go to school
  • ·      Become a coast guard
  • ·      Own my own business and be rich and help poor people
      These are all actual responses.  I only edited the grammar a little bit, but not content.

      I also got this response:

1 comment:

  1. 40 Form 3 students! Scary :/ I am glad to hear you are able to teach math now since that is your passion! Very cool way to step back and turn things around with the motivational talk and just being real and honest with them. Nice to see they actually are aware of how you show them respect. Hang in there Miss!