Oh today was one of those days where my kids continually touched my heart and reminded me why I love teenagers so much. I will be honest: I’ve had days recently that I haven’t loved my job all that much, which is rare for me. I certainly subscribe to the idea of claiming and protecting the good that happens. But it’s also important to be honest and say: this sucks.
But today didn’t suck at all. Today was the day I’ve been threatening my calc kids for weeks now. See, our AP Exam is on Tuesday; however this past Wednesday was graduation (no seniors), Thursday was an excused absence for most seniors, and this coming Monday is the AP Bio Exam, so again very few seniors. Today was the only day I could capture all of them in the week leading up to the AP Exam, so I told them, “If you’re not here, you’d better have an amazing excuse. I will be calling parents. Do not view Friday as a potential for an extended weekend or a day to sleep in.”
And then our baseball boys advanced to the state semi-finals and it was announced that anyone who attended would receive an excused absence.
Oh lord there goes my threat.
But guess what? Attendance was superb today. A handful were gone, but they had let me know ahead of time and all reasons were legitimate (namely, AP Exams). A few kids went to the baseball game but left early to make it back in time for calc (I know, I know). One student was gone for golf but ran into class with like twenty minutes left, still in his golf attire, sweaty and all, ready to learn.
This group is committed, stubborn, and loyal as hell. I’ll miss them more than words can say.
The other calc teacher and I make goodie bags for our kids on test day. I planned to spend lunch and plan working on mine. Instead, during our catch up day today in Intermediate, two lovely girls helped me finish all seventy-one of them. They put great care into them: one kept asking me if certain names were boys or girls because she was concerned the boys wouldn’t want a pink mechanical pencil. Oh the goodness that is in us all…if we only listen.
We went over the kids’ second Mock today (hence the threat of attendance). I was so happy with how it went. I chose the problems I wanted to go over based on how frequently they were missed and how attainable the points were. Kids in all hours were very receptive. And instead of hearing a bunch of, “I would never have thought to do that,” I heard, “Yeah, this is really simple. I don’t know why I did what I did.” And those are the kinds of comments you hope to hear four days prior to the AP Exam.
One girl, who is basically guaranteed to make a 5, asked if she could come by during lunch to go over the few that she still had questions on.
Twist my arm.
When students pursue that kind of excellence, I can’t help but imagine all that they will do and become.
We are so lucky to have kids like her grace our school.