Friday, November 04, 2005

Success Story

My first months of teaching have been filled with many success stories. My 5th period inclusion class is finally going smoothly. I have gone from 18 not doing homework to 3. I have finally created a plan that works for them.

In addition, I have been working with a young man who had a 37 average in my room first nine weeks. I talked with him on several occasions. It finally occurred to me that he simply needed some positive praise in his life. All of his teachers have met with both his mother and father (they are divorced). His dad took his truck away from him. This finally did some good. However, his mother became a softy and gave him the truck back. So, we were back to square one. Anyway, to make a long story short, I talked with this kid, and he now has a 72 in my class! No, it is not great, but it is certainly a huge accomplishment. Needless to say, I consider this a success.

The actual success that I want to talk about is a young man in my Trans. to Algebra class. He is an inclusion student, and he does not have a good home life. A few months ago, he told some of his teachers that he greatly enjoyed my class. So, I was asked to serve as a role model for him. He does not have a good home life by any means. His strategies class is third period, the same period as my planning period. So, from time to time, I go into his strategies class and help him out if he needs it.

On Monday, we took a test in my room. He made a 100! I was so excited. I went into his 3rd period class, and I told him the good news. He was so excited. In addition, his strategies teacher bragged on him over and over. He was so proud. Since he had done all his work, his teacher told him to go with me to my room to help me out. When we went back to my room, I calculated his average. He had a 102 in my room! He was so excited again! During class, he ran up to the strategies teacher and asked her if she knew what his average was. He was so proud of his work.

Yesterday, we actually got to sit down and talk. He told me that in his life, he had moved 16 times. Most of the times, he did not remember. In addition, he told me that he never really understood math; however, this year was different. He said that it was as if I explained math in a way that he totally understood what I was talking about. I finally realized that this was the one success that all teachers hoped to reach. I had actually finally reached a student.

Another Success Story (October Blog)

In my previous blog, I talked about a huge success story. In addition, I briefly discussed another success story. This success story is with my fifth period Inclusion class. To begin, this is Pre-Algebra. Nineteen of the 28 kids are inclusion students. Those who are not inclusion students are behavior problems. I had tried everything with them. Nothing seemed to work. They wouldn't do homework, and they simply didn't care about school. They were simply out of control.

Finally, I decided that the madness had to stop. So, I got with the inclusion teacher that is in my room during that period. I knew that something had to be done. So, together, we figured out a plan. We divided the room into two teams. Each of the teams were pretty equal, according to ability range. They instantly began to compete against each other. At random times, I check to see if they brought their books to class. In addition, I check to see if everyone did their homework. If everyone has their book or homework, their team gets 10 points. Overall, this is going extremely well. When they compete against each other, they begin to tell their classmates to do their work and bring their books to class. Things are going extremely well with them.

In addition, we managed to secure another room. The inclusion teacher takes one team to another room about twice a week and I keep the other team in my room. It is much easier for us to work with half the class. We trade up teams each time. That way, the teams are getting both of us as instructors. After I teach a lesson, we often break them up into teams. Things go a lot smoother this way. In addition, they seem to be learning a lot more material. I consider this a huge success!