I have had a very difficult week... one of the most difficult of my entire life. I am struggling through an unfortunate personal situation. So it is to be human... but it sure is painful in the moment. I saw this picture / quote today and it really struck a chord with me. Though the situation I currently find myself in is hard, I choose to believe that it will lead to better and better moments in my life. (but I'm still hoping that I get "launched" sooner rather than later)
Well, it feels good to have made it to another long weekend (three cheers for Family Day!!)
But this week ended a little sadly. As most of you know, several KG students were "removed from our school" this week. While I don't want to get into names or details, I just want to express the fact that - though it may be completely understandable / justified - I find it sad that these students are - all of a sudden!! - no longer in my class.
I guess what I am trying to say is the following: I think many of you believe that we teachers only like the "good students", the students who get A's, the well-behaved students. But - surprise! - we like all of you!! That why I - for one - got into teaching. Yeah, I DO love math but it's not math that brings me the great satisfaction I feel for my job. It's the students! And that includes all of you - the quiet ones, the loud ones, the serious ones, the immature ones, the angry ones, the sad ones... even the defiant ones.
You are all worthy of great respect and affection. I won't lie: some of you are more challenging to teach than others. But that doesn't mean I don't still think you are amazing and interesting and inspiring.
So though you may think I am happy or relieved that a few of my more challenging students have left my class today, this is not at all the case. I will miss them and I wish them all the best!
Well, so much for Term 1. Hard to believe that we are 1/3 of the way through the school year! Feels like we are still "getting started" in many ways. But time flies when you're having fun, right?
I hope you were happy with your Math mark on your report card (or, at least, that you feel that it is an honest / fair assessment of your progress so far).
Remember: if you are NOT happy with your mark you could either (1) HOPE that things go better next semester (which will likely make little to no difference. "Hoping" is just a more socially acceptable way of avoiding responsibility for things that aren't working in our lives); or (2) DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT! You've all heard by now the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. Unless you are insane (possibly), and assuming you DO want to improve your mark (hopefully) what are some of the things you could do differently in Term 2? Here's a few ideas:
One last thing thing: remember that there is a distinction between "something matters" and "something means something". It MATTERS that you do well in Math / school. There are consequences for doing well or doing lousy in school, after all (failing, graduating, winning awards and scholarships, gaining entrance to university / college, etc.).
But it doesn't MEAN anything if you don't do well (or DO do well) in Math / school. It doesn't mean we are stupid or incapable or lazy or destined for failure, or disappointments, or.... or ANYTHING. Anything you make it mean about you doing well / poorly in math / school / life is just a story you have made up. Create an empowering story and let it inspire you, if you wish. But watch out!! Once again, we often create uninspiring stories ("I can't do well in math") in order to avoid responsibility ("what's the point of even TRYING in math? I know I can't do well").
Good luck to you in Term 2! Work hard!
It was 15 years ago today that my wonderful daughter was born. I know she'd hate me mentioning it here but I can't think of anything else to write about. Lots of you will be parents one day (whether you can imagine it or not right now). You cannot even imagine what it is like to look into the eyes of your newborn child. Your life changes - dramatically and forever more!
Being a parent is not easy. Your parent(s) probably annoy you, upset you and embarrass you from time to time. I know if you asked Sophia she'd say the same about me.
But here is the thing: every (EVERY!) parent wants to be a good parent. Every parent loves their child(ren) and wants them to be happy.
But every parent is also a human being who makes mistakes, who struggles, who fails. So have some compassion for your parents. Though they may do stupid, ridiculous, even mean things from time to time, it does not undermine the fact that THEY LOVE YOU. Always. They may not always show it (in your eyes) but your parents want nothing more than for you to be happy. And safe. And healthy. And successful. They want the best for you.
Wait until you are parents. Only then will you truly be able to see what I'm speaking of.
Anyways, "Happy Birthday Sophia! I love you (and am sorry for embarrassing you by writing this here)"
Another great week of school. And now a three day weekend! Kind of gets off to a rough start tomorrow. It's my birthday. Fun, right? Well, not so much when your new age starts with a FOUR!!! AAAAHH!!!
I remember when I was about your age and my neighbour turned 40. His wife covered the lawn in pink flamingoes and put up a big sign "Lordy, Lordy, Karl is 40". I remember thinking how OLD (and I mean OOOOOLD) forty sounded.
And now it's me.
Here is what I can PROMISE you about when YOU reach the big 4-0...
(1) you will feel almost EXACTLY the same as you do right now. You know how you think older people are so much different than you? Well, we are not. And it will shock you when you realize - at age 25 and 35 and 40 - that the way you picture YOURSELF has not really changed that much from when you were 15.
(2) you will hate the thought that other - younger - people ARE thinking of you differently. It pains me to think that some of you think of me the same way I thought of my "old" teachers. We're not so different, you and me!! We really aren't!!
(3) you will wonder to yourself: how the heck can I possibly be 40-years old? Wasn't I just 16-years old a few years ago?
Thanks to everyone who wished me and sang me Happy Birthday, for my cards, my cake and my flowers. I may be getting older but I am clear that spending my days with enthusiastic, fun teenagers helps to keep my young (at heart, at least).
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!
I am your teacher. Obey me.