Today was my first break from teaching since I started, so I think it's time I cataloged my victories and defeats for the year up until now.

Victory 1: I learned all the students' names within two weeks of class starting. This one was difficult, since I hadn't met any of the students before this year. I'll call a student by the wrong name once a week, but I'm going to chalk that up to faulty wiring rather than not knowing the actual names.

Victory 2: Students occasionally enjoy the warm-ups I prepare for them, and they tend to get invested in answering the questions correctly. I have become the master of warm-ups, and I really think it helps the students remember the material better than they would otherwise. Plus, it gives me a chance to assess what they know, what they don't know, and what the hell they think they know.

Victory 3: My spirit is intact. Back when I was working at Mackubin Consolidated Widgets, my spirit was nearly broken. While I've worked at the Wobegone International School of Culinary Arts, my students have punched, kicked, stomped, and electrocuted my spirit, but it has brushed off all assaults. The joy in seeing them do something correctly is a fine salve for any spiritual wound.

Defeat 1: The students still respect Frau Funkenhaus much, much more than I. I'm not entirely sure what I could do to change this, but I'm going to spend the rest of the year trying to figure that out.

Defeat 2: I'm still staring down the barrel of a test-passing rate of about 65%. Some of my brightest students get Ds on tests. How is that possible? Among the myriad reasons, the ESL problem and the "don't give a flying rodent's posterior" reasons seem to stick out. Motivation is key, and I can't figure out how to motivate them. Reading comprehension is key, and I can't teach them how to read.

While there have been more defeats, I'm going to keep the list at two because I want this webberly blog thing to be upbeat and happy. At this point, I'm rocking a 3-2 record, and that'll get me in the playoffs in the NFC North.


Anonymous said...

I am truly horrible at remembering names, so congrats grad on that victory.