We spent the first four academic hours with our fourth hour today because of sophomore testing. At any given time for the first three hours, I only had about half my class present due to concurrent courses that the students needed to attend today. So, I showed one of my all-time favorite movies, Stand and Deliver. If you’ve never seen it, Stand and Deliver is based on the true story of Mr. Escalante, a high school math teacher who dreams of teaching AP Calculus in a district that is poorly funded and serves primarily low-income students. Through his stubborn perseverance and his love for his kids, Mr. Escalante pushes his students to new heights and quickly grows the AP program from the ground up.
After the movie, my students had a writing assignment and then we discussed the questions together. I loved hearing their thoughts. We talked about how one person can make such a difference in our lives, how students will rise (or fall) to the expectations to which they’re held. We discussed race and class and prejudice. We talked about opportunity and responsibility.
We don’t get a lot of moments like these as math teachers (well, at least I don’t…maybe that’s my own fault). So hearing and reading my kids’ thoughts on some heavy topics was really fascinating to me and gave me new insights into their minds.
Also. Some kids brought me Starbucks. Clearly, they understand coffee is always the right answer for this new mom. ❤