Related rates and birthdays 

My calculus students are currently working on arguably the hardest topic in Calc AB: related rates. Today I put them in groups and gave them problems where they were the main characters. I love watching their faces as they realize that each question involves 1-2 people from their class. 

They worked through their question and then made posters for the rest of the class to view solutions. After three sections of calculus, my walls are filled with related rates. And I love it:


One of my students had a birthday on Monday, but students had the day off for faculty professional development (I applaud whoever suggested having PD on Halloween). Then yesterday, she was ill. So today as I was greeting students at the door, I told her happy belated birthday. 

Her face looked shocked and she immediately swung her arms around me. “Oh my gosh thank you so much! It means so much that you remembered!”

Sometimes I feel like kids don’t care at all that I do my very best to remember their birthdays (in fact, I’ve had it completely blow up in my face once already this year). But then there are moments like this. Moments where I think, “I sure wish it were this easy to get to every kid.”

Maybe it is that easy. Maybe I just haven’t found all their “birthdays” yet. 

In any case, I’m so very glad that I remembered this lovely lady’s birthday today. 


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