We have these lists we start as children. They are full of all the thing our parents are doing that we will NEVER do to our kids.
1. I will never imitate my child’s tantrum as a family joke (My parents do a really good me: push over chair, yell, stomp up stairs, slam door. I was a stellar child.)
2. I will never laugh at my child when they are upset. (I got upset a lot)
3. I will never make my kid play soccer. (I only played like 2 years but I was terrible. In the words of one of students today, “I just don’t think you have the feet for soccer, Ms. G”
Then as I got to high school it turned in to a list of things my teachers did that I would never do.
1. I won’t care this much about homework.
2. I won’t give a C to a kid that tutors other students in the class (yes, I have a couple C’s in middle and high school math.)
More added after I got in the credential program but these turned in to positives:
3. I will reach my language learners
4. I will use group work (effectively)
There was one thing I hung on to through my credential year at Cal State Diversity (as I lovingly refer to it): That I would do the kind of cool things teachers do with advanced students with all my students.
1. I now look back and laugh at my own tantrums.
2. I have seen a kid get so angry it was funny (but not to the point I laughed. my parents are jerks. 😉 )
3. I don’t have kids but I did push a few girls to try out for soccer who didn’t make it.
1. I don’t care that much about homework but I assign it so infrequently I get annoyed when it’s not done.
2. I gave a C to a kid who refused to do a project given 2 weeks of classtime.
Then next two are less quantifiable
3. I connect with all my kids at some level not all about math.
4. I don’t do this nearly enough.
There is a mile long list of other things i screw up but they are not for here.
I have been doing some pretty cool discovery learning stuff with my advanced class. I assign something for homework (graph these 3 lines) have them break in to random groups. Check each others work and then answer some questions. (what do you notice about the lines on the graph? the equations of the lines? what can you get from this?) I had two groups make the sentence “perpendicular lines’ slopes are opposite reciprocal” all on their own so that was pretty much the best thing ever.
I am not doing things like this with my other classes. There just seems to be a resistance to thought (I just vomited in my mouth when I typed that but just trying to keep it real yo). I just feel like a failure today. I don’t know how to make this better. I feel like there is a chance I have created a culture that allows them not to think (vomit).
I am not a champ.