Thursday, July 14, 2011

10 things I have learned part 2: Fun and Inspiration

Without doubt, teaching is a two way street. As much as I put in, I get out. Believe it or not, it took me a few years to realize that. Back in 2003, I was getting burnt out. The workload, hours, negativity about education in the press, micromanagement of my principal at the time... all these things drained my soul. It wasn't until I taught "the worst class" in the school (math 9 core), that I finally got it.

The class was full of grade 11's who still hadn't passed grade 9 math. Most were category R or H. both behavior categorizations (the joke they stand for rotten and horrible) plus a learning difficulty. They all struggled with the basics... even simple things such as multiplication tables, adding, measuring, etc... I started out doing the traditional model: Lecture, work through some problems, practice, wrap up, etc... I never had a class go south faster than this one. It was like watching a clown car drive up and 20 clowns pile up all the time time march of the gladiators playing in the background.

Needless to say, we shifted gears fast. We started having fun with math... having multiplication races & doing activities like "how many meter sticks would it take to fill this class".What happened was special... They started to learn about math and I started to learn about them. We bonded as a class... They had fun and in turn, they inspired me.
From the "worst class" I ever taught

We as teachers often talk about the inspiration that we deliver to kids.... buts lets not forget the inspiration we get from them.

1 comment:

  1. Well written. It is good to know that we can continue to learn and be inspired by others for the rest of our lives.