The Sort-of-Scientific Method

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 16 2013

Wins So Good, The Losses Count Too

Day 82: There is something infinitely satisfying about reading a ticket-to-go that says, “Something that went well today is I had fun working on my project.” WIN. Today, we started our cell projects – either picture books or raps. The kids got so into it, especially those persistent souls working on raps. Once every few minutes, you could hear some laughter, invariably indicating some clever rhyme using the word “nucleus.” Plus, it’s always fun to introduce a project by rapping and pretending to use a turntable while referring to the major producer Mr. DNA.

Sometimes, the best laid plans can pan out. And I was happy to notice the wins coloring the rest of my day. I can happily say I had a good day, even though I worked straight to 4:50 pm and made two girls cry. The 4:50 pm is because I had nearly 30 kids in after school Science Lab re-taking quizzes or tutoring – a damn good reason to be at work late. One girl cried because I made her stay until then to finish a quiz; she was overdue for a kick in the butt after wallowing through Science class. The other is AC – she who I informed yesterday was torpedoing her grades through lack of participation and a poor citizenship grade – who broke down crying when I informed her she was meeting with me and her dad tomorrow afterschool. Sometimes, there are consequences for being too cool, and too disrespectful.

Again, the right day can color everything positively. I am so excited the project is going well, I was so pleased to have such a good turnout after school, and I am so proud of myself for setting clear limits and wrapping up the kind words at a logical point. Just goes to show that smile-worthy days can come with some bumps.

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Experimental Procedures of a Second-Year Teacher

Greater Boston
Middle School

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