Saturday, November 12, 2011

End of the 6 Weeks...

Well, from 20+ failing students down to 3 for now and possibly only 1 or 2 after I grade some test corrections and put in more homework grades. What IS it with certain types of people that they have to hit rock bottom with their grades before they start putting out some effort? I guess it's probably a mix of human nature to get by with as little as possible plus teenage brains plus maybe a dose of "they don't REALLY mean it that I'll fail, do they?", plus an ounce of "math's hard, let's go shopping!".

On the positive side, one of my hardcore, "I hate math, and I probably hate you, and I'm going to be as obnoxious as possible to get some attention" students pulled it together in the last couple of weeks and started behaving semi-politely and actually put out an effort to understand the math and take her retests and learn some geometry. On the negative side, she's also the student that couldn't really with utmost certainty tell me what "8 over 4" really means in terms of life/math/reality. "one half? 2? I don't know! what are you asking?". Oy!

But on the "am I a glutton for punishment?" side, it always seems to be the most gratifying when THOSE kids get it together and pull through and actually learn something. Hah! Forget the nice kids that are always doing the right thing and being polite and being good students! Boring!

.... Just kidding.


  1. Anonymous9:42 AM

    I feel the same way... and I feel kinda guilty about how I don't get the same kind of buzz when the good kids, the polite kids, the ones who always are doing their best and on their best behavior do get it.

  2. Incidentally the "lousy" kids tend to be the smartest; sometimes you just need to know how to rev up their completely switched off engines.

    One of my charges was a very lazy chap; his life revolved around playing the online games Maple Story and DOTA. But I knew he had a hidden streak of brilliance within him; he understood what I taught him almost instantaneously on the spot most of the time and possessed insanely good mental calculation skills (something which alerted me to the fact this kid wasn't all that ordinary).

    Guess what? He was real smart. When he bucked up and put in some effort( he had the cheek to say it was only 50% but nonetheless an improvement compared to the past), he jumped from an E8 to an A2 grade in 1 month.

    Then he totally slacked off and I had a hard time trying to knock some sense back into him once again...sighs.

  3. Anonymous11:32 AM

    What a great story. I hate that some kids crave attention so much that they'll do just about anything to get my attention, even fail. They take up so much time that the good kids get short changed. Reaching the balance is the trick.

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