Breakthrough 

A student I had both this year and last made an amazing grade on yesterday’s Calc test (highest score in the class, actually!). As I was grading his test yesterday, I thought to myself, I cannot wait to give him a high five. This is a two-year personal best for him!

Much to my delight, the kid had the same idea. He had seen his grade online and came to my room between classes. It took me a while to notice him standing in front of my desk. He was beaming. “Mrs. Peterson. This deserves a high five!”

And then I was beaming. 

He stayed and talked about he had changed his study procedures. And how studying with peers was so beneficial (Hmmm…only took you two years to listen to my advice, I see…). He was so proud of himself, he couldn’t stop telling me about all the work he put in to ensure he’d be successful. Every teacher has a love of learning; that’s why we’re in education–to share that love. But developing brains that are also thirsty for knowledge is easier said than done. So, when you see a student like this one–totally high on the thrill of learning (really truly learning)–you feel like you’re getting to see the fruits of your labor. 

One of the biggest complements students have given me about my AP course is that it taught them how to work hard to earn what they wanted to achieve. And I got to see that again today. 

Two years I’ve been on this kid’s butt. Two. Years. And we finally had a breakthrough. Because this isn’t about his awesome grade. This is about that spark in his eyes. That ear-to-ear smile. That thirst to learn more. 

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