A student I had in precalc last year (but sadly do not have in calc this year) came by my room today. I thought she just wanted to say hi but instead she said, in all seriousness, “I just wanted to tell you thank you for the Peterson Diagram. One of your students showed it to me. I was really struggling with the concept, but now I got all the questions right. So–thank you.”
I about burst into laughter right in front of her. My kids love the “Peterson Diagram,” which is the name I jokingly gave the calculus tool this year because I didn’t know what else to call it. I was being 100% fascesous/snarky with that title, but apparently my students embraced it…and they’re now sharing it.
Maybe it’s a had-to-be-there moment, but it was so so funny.
Regardless, my one good thing is that my students are learning and teaching others. Every teacher hopes to bring her kids to such a level of mastery that the students can help and teach each other, with very little assistance from herself. Sometimes it’s hard to see if you’re making any progress at all. But today it was clear that we are moving forward.
My husband and I are currently on our way to South Dakota for Thanksgiving. Our goal was to leave as soon as possible after school. That meant I needed to be ready to leave by the time the last bell rang (I typically stay until about 5 or 6 PM–just thought I’d throw that in there for the people who think a teacher’s work is done at 3:30).
The problem was that this is traditionally the day I decorate my room for the holiday season so that when my students return, they’re greeted with snowflakes and lights.
Since I couldn’t stay after school, I had to come up with an alternative plan. Thankfully, my last class of the day (Intermediate Algebra) humored me and allowed me to boss them around about how the decorations should go just so, exactly like the bossy big sister in me loves to do.
So, once all the kids had finished their semester projects (HOORAY!), we had about twenty-five minutes to set up the room. I shelled out orders like a crazy lady: “You–make snowflakes! You–string snowflakes! You–hang snowflakes! You–hang the lights!”
And before I knew it, my room looked exactly how I wanted it to look. All thanks to these kids. It was magical. I’m excited for the rest of my kids to see it on Monday.