Together 

I asked my calc kids to work a problem today. It’s interesting to me how sometimes kids work problems together and sometimes they decide to work them alone. I don’t like when they work alone. They make silly mistakes. I can’t figure out if it’s something I say or the way I say it or if it’s just the time of year, but for whatever reason–in all three classes–they just sat there and silently worked on the problem individually. So after a while I asked them to please check with someone around them to see if they got the same answer, or if they wanted to change theirs. Immediately the room exploded with kids arguing and debating their answers. Probably only teachers will understand the pure joy of watching kids so invested in the subject you love. But, for those who don’t know, it’s one of the best things in this world. I heard one kid say, “I leave you alone for ONE problem!” *facepalm* 😂

The real beauty is that I heard several students warning their peers of a mistake that I’ve headed against time and again. But now that kids have heard it from their friends, I promise you, they will actually remember. 

*****

Some of my Intermediate kids wanted to work problems from their review on the board today. I was like OK IF YOU TWIST MY ARM I GUESS I’LL LET YOU DO MATH IN FRONT OF THE CLASS. The best part was that some of the kids volunteering were students who have had difficulties either socially or mathematically in these first few weeks of school. It was just glorious seeing them ask if they could work another problem on the board. One of them said, “Man, I’m getting really good at this.” ❤ (Getting candy for it helped, too, I’m sure… 😉 )

*****

I was trying to corral a girl back to where she needed to be at the end of the day. I said, “Love you; I’ll see you tomorrow.”

And then I realized I told a kid I loved her and it’s only the first month of school. 

After freaking out internally that I probably freaked her out, I decided that’s a pretty good thing. Because it wasn’t one of those “love you” mistakes that you accidentally say to your boss before hanging up the phone. I meant it. I adore that kid, or what I know from the handful of hours I’ve spent with her, at least. And I think we adults need to say those words more. Because we love our kiddos: the ones that live with us and the ones that don’t. Otherwise…we wouldn’t put this kind of investment in. 

“Actions speak louder than words,” I guess, but I still think our words are important. 

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