Girls can, too

I handed back tests today and my calc kids worked on their folder of corrections to turn in for the quarter. 

When I handed back a test to one kid, his friend peaked at his grade. “WHOA! That’s AWESOME, man!” the friend said, as he saw the A the first kid earned. 

The friend himself did not do as well. 

But, in the end, wouldn’t you rather have a kind kid above all? I’d take an encouraging comment over an A any day. 

That’s the real goal as parents and as teachers. 

*****

My favorite thing I saw while grading nearly a hundred folders today was this:


Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to get to teach kids who love math. (Not all of them do–but some of them!) I love my little nerds so very much. I think it’s so important that we nurture this love of mathematics.  That we don’t consider it weird. That we embrace this passion: especially in girls. 

That’s one of my hidden goals as a female calculus teacher: that I make it abundantly clear to my girls–and maybe more importantly, my boys–that girls are just as capable in math and science as boys are. I hope that when my girls doubt themselves or when my boys are tempted to believe a stereotype, they look back to their calculus experience, and think, “No. Girls can, too.”

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