I’ll need you, too

I’m not a fan when we teachers say things like, “First hour is always my guinea pig…” Like, poor first hour! But–I admit–I fell prey to this today. 

I introduced matching graphs of f and f’ today in calc…boy howdy. Every year I tell myself, “Now, Rebecka, remember this can be a very abstract concept for them. Be not dismayed if they don’t get it right away. People rarely do. Just think about how good they get at this by the end of the year.”

But still, every year–despite my warning to myself–I get a little sad. Not that it doesn’t click right away but that it truly drives some kids crazy that it doesn’t click right away. They sit there huffing and puffing and saying, “This is HARD!” Grit is definitely something we need to work on every year and it’s one of my foremost arguments for taking an AP course. 

But I digress…

So I showed them some examples on Desmos. I would graph a function, we’d talk about its increasing/decreasing behavior, and then I’d show them the derivative graph. They seemed to follow. 

Then I gave them two graphs: “One’s the original; the other is the derivative. Which is which?”

All hell broke loose in first and fourth hours. 

One kid gave the right answer. “Is the original blue?”

“Yes! Do you know why, or did you guess?”

“Oh I totally guessed.”

Le sigh. 

However, fifth hour rolled around, and I did a couple things differently. 

When we got to that slide, the kids were  ready for it. I told them to talk with those around them and decide which graph was which. 

A few moments later, when I asked the class which was the graph of f, I got a resounding, “BLUE!!”

Be still, my heart. I finally did it right. 

Well, better at least. 


I heard a girl apologize to another girl for asking so many questions. 

“Oh, please don’t apologize. When I have questions, I’ll need you, too.”


That’s the safety that these kids provide for each other that I’ve grown to know and love. ❤️


One thought on “I’ll need you, too

  1. As this is my first year teaching math, I am really learning as I go…. and thankfully we have a rotating schedule, so a different class can be the “guinea pigs” every day. It’s the best feeling to see the results of your efforts in tweaking things! Love hearing about girls (or any students, for that matter) supporting each other so well! 🙂

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