I have taught Betty Math in all of her high school years. In grade 8 she was in my Math 8 Core class (the Core class does not even exist anymore). Betty was there because she had been identified (not by me! Likely by grade 7 teachers and counsellors) as being particularly weak in Math. All the students in the class were there for the same reason. It was a tough class to teach due to some of the "livelier" personalities (not Betty! She was - and IS - an angel) but we got lots of work done and I think many students' confidence when it came to Math really increased.
Betty was one of the students who improved... was she ever!! Since that time Betty has stayed in the "regular Math" and PreCalculus stream, all the way to PreCalculus 12!! And she's getting a friggin' A in PreCalculus 12. AN "A" IN PRECALCULUS 12!!!!
I am so proud of Betty! This is not supposed to happen! Students taking Core 8 are not supposed to be getting HIGH marks in PreCalculus 12. They are not supposed to be taking PreCalculus 12 at all! It is a testament to Betty's work ethic, her unwavering belief in herself, and her resiliency. Did I mention how PROUD I am of Betty!!! I honestly find it inspiring to think about how far she has come in the past five years. And I KNOW if she can do such things in Math then she can do it in all areas of her life. Betty is going to do great things in the world. She is unstoppable! (Again, I am NOT joking!!)
Betty is such a sweet person. Every time she enters my classroom she shoots me a smile and a "Hi, Mr Wadge". She is quick with a laugh (and is able to laugh at herself). She is funny and honest and charismatic and kind.
I remember in grade 8 when I offered to take the Core class out for ice cream (I wasn't above bribing that class from time to time). Someone suggested we go to Dairy Queen and that Betty's mom might be working. I was sort of nervous (personally, I would NOT have wanted to go to my parents' place of work in grade 8 with my classmates) but away we went. I was so struck by how happy Betty was to see her mom, how fond of each other they obviously were, how comfortable Betty was in spite of her peers being there (also, Betty's mom was super nice). I am a big fan of people who love their parents / siblings / friends and aren't afraid to show it.
I will miss you so much next year, Betty. It is students like you who make "high school teacher" the best job in the world (again, I am NOT joking). Thank you for giving me the sense of "making a difference". There is no better feeling in the world and I owe it to students like you. You have made a difference in my life and I am forever grateful. I am so proud of you (can't help but say it a third time) and I love you!