Sunday, October 23, 2005

Air Show Thoughts

On Saturday we went to an airshow that benefits a worthy charity. It was a beautiful day, and I lost some of my indoor-teacher pallor. One of the wild things was this 23-year-old girl who was a wing walker. Apparently, there are only 5 in the world (?). Sheesh, I'd pee my pants doing that, but it was sure fun to watch her get up onto the top of the plane. On take-off (a biplane) she was lying down on the crisscrossed wires connecting the wings. Then after they were in the air, she walked up to the top wing and strapped herself onto an upright bar and was there while the pilot was looping and rolling and doing all sorts of things. Ach. Scared for her, but fun to watch.

Now of course, I couldn't just go and enjoy myself, I had to bring precalculus quizzes to grade - or "tuizzes" as I call them because I never give tests, and they are always asking if it's a test or a quiz (all mine have about the same point value), so I said they're tuizzes. Blach. Some of the kids I had last year or for 2 years in a row who used to just get by on sitting in class and absorbing, are now really struggling. They got so used to not having to study for math, that now they've met their match. Some stepped up to the plate, but others seem to be stuck in their lazy ways. I keep trying to encourage them to study, and I mention that precal is not like what they've had before, but .... to no avail apparently, based on how some are doing on the quiz.

I guess that's a life lesson. Hopefully, they'll learn it at some point. I guess I wouldn't be doing them any favors by easing up on them. They have to learn the hard way .... but it's still painful to see them fail/flail. .... Then that got me to start thinking about how adults/parents probably do more harm than good by taking care of all the obstacles (in various forms) for their kids. The kids then think that *poof* someone else will make all the bad stuff go away and they can just coast and have fun.


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  2. I have just returned from Cub/Boy Scout Outdoor Leader Training (Camping skills for grownups). We were told that the boys learn and retain best by failing and trying again. At the graduation ceremony, the instructor gave us all a piece of rope: our fiddle. If we wanted to help the boy, we were told to tie knots in the rope instead of offereing advice and assistance. When the rope was fully knotted, if we still wanted to help, we were to untie the knots.

    Giving fail tests and having kids fail was the main reason I did not go into teaching. But for 10 years I have coached MathCounts, where all I need to worry about is the learning. That suits me.

    Thanks for your writings.

  3. Heidi,

    Thanks for your comments. That's a reasuring about how boys learn. I'll have to remember that whenever I have a kid making the wrong choices about doing homework and studying for tests and such.

    Ms. Cookie

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