The Sort-of-Scientific Method

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Mar 09 2013

Good Enough

Day 112: Interesting start to the day. As it turns out, despite it being nearly spring, Boston wasn’t quite done with snow yet. I woke up to discover I had to dig my car out of my driveway, and my drive to work was less-than-safe. I nearly skidded out three times on non-plowed roads.

In related news, about a third of the sixth grade didn’t make it to school. Those that did were whining about being in school. The principal, the vice principal and the various staff members were popping into my room and interrupting all day, particularly in the afternoon, asking students to call their parents to pick them up right after school, since after school activities were cancelled. I got to deal with the always serene (read: insane) process of student council selling popsicles.

Finally, making my day ever-so-slightly more complicated, I neglected to realize gym would be inside due to the snow. When I took 6B and 6D downstairs to simulate the circulatory system, my giant reproduction of the body’s blood vessels was being occupied by rowdy 4th graders. Even once the 4th graders were dispersed, it was damn near impossible to give directions over their din. Worst of all, it turns out that explaining the “two loops” blood takes through your body is a bit tricky to understand, even for my strongest students.

But you know what? The day was fine. Nearly everyone mastered the basics of the circulatory system – what it does, what the difference is between arteries, veins and capillaries. I bet if I asked my students on Monday to explain why the heck we walked around downstairs while I blasted “Call Me Maybe,”  they’d be able to explain that we were simulating how blood moves around the circulatory system to deliver oxygen … and I think I’m OK with that level of sophistication (at least from 6th graders). Moreover, the kids had fun, which will have some mileage come next week and the dreaded MCAS beast rears its head.

I’m guessing most TFA corps members have trouble with “good enough.” To say I have trouble with “good enough” would be an understatement capable of making any of my good friends keel over laughing. However, on a day when kids didn’t want to be in school, when the objective was hard, and when I was grasping at straws to stay awake and alert … Yeah, I’ll take good enough.

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Experimental Procedures of a Second-Year Teacher

Greater Boston
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