I am having one of the best semesters of my teaching career. Why? I love my students! They make it fun to go to work. We laugh, we joke around, and we learn while doing it. They know I want them to succeed. They can see that I care and I enjoy our class time. It makes all the difference in the world. When you can connect with a group of students like that, amazing things can happen.
We just finished the week where they took the high stakes test for graduation. We spent a lot of time on strategies and doing sample problems for the test. I made sure they all had graphing calculators to use and they said it was “easy.” Ok… So that scares me a little. I really hope they knew what they were doing and used the elimination techniques that I taught them to narrow down the answers. They take the math test as juniors and I’ve got a lot of juniors. I really hope that the preparation paid off. It would be fantastic if they did well and our scores as a school went up. Here’s to hoping!
A few weeks ago I was teaching my Pre Calc class about graphing rational equations. A big part of the graphing is knowing where the asymptotes are. I’ve described them like electric fences for dogs. The dog learns where the electric current is and (hopefully) does not cross the line. I was talking about the parts of the graph as if they were dogs, so I was calling them Fluffy and Spot. We had a graph that had a 3rd part to it and I called that one Max. That part turned out to be a parabola* shape and it opened upward. Once I drew it, I muttered under my breath, “Maybe I should have called him Min.” They got the joke! I didn’t even intend to make a joke and they got it! It was one of those teaching moments that is so precious. We’re all laughing at my stupid math joke and having fun. That’s what makes this job the most rewarding job in the world. Connecting with kids in a way that everyone learns and has fun doing it!
*In a parabola that upwards, the vertex is the minimum point on the graph, if it opens downward, it’s a maximum.