Day 97: Finals Day 1 (T-2)

No classes met today, and students took the English and Math finals, so I had a super chill day. I got the finals to the learning needs people so the kids with extra time are covered. I made the folders with exams for the four different times I have to manage kids taking exams (Thursday and Friday, morning and afternoon). And I took a loooooooong nap.

Right now I’m on duty in a different dorm for reasons explained previously. It was nice to chat with students I don’t normally visit or see. I do hate interrupting them, but doing rounds to check on them is part of the job, so I pop in for a few minutes with each student. The boys tended to maybe look up from their computer and answer every question with “fine” or “good”. Girls tend to be a lot more willing to fully interrupt their studying for a full conversation complete with eye contact and questions back to me about how I am doing. Interesting.

It’s not totally dissimilar in my dorm, but since I live on the boys side I have more interactions with them and have built better rapport than with most of the girls. I have some really good real conversations with the boys and a little more distance with the girls. It’s taken most of two terms, but I have finally gotten all the girl names down and attached to faces in my dorm.

Here are a few articles that I read tonight and am trying to internalize.

Kindness in the Mathematics Classroom This is something I have been cultivating for years now, but I am by no means perfect at it. I try to be kind in the moment when students reach out to me, but I could do way more to reach out to them more frequently and stop assuming no news is good news.

The Lesson of Grace in Teaching And this one. I try to behave in such a way to help my students believe it when I say there is no number or accomplishment that determines your worth as a person. Not height, weight, IQ, GPA, exam grade, credit score, salary, or any other number. Not letters after your name, awards won, raises earned, APs passed, college acceptances, or peaks bagged. Your worth as a person exists because you exist, and you deserve dignity, caring, and kindness. They genuinely have a hard time with this one, and I must do more to help them internalize it.

Maybe it’s finals week, maybe it’s day 3 of being on dorm duty, maybe it’s just that time of year, maybe it’s that the Grace article above was written by a professor from my alma mater, but I desperately want to sit down with all my former teachers to talk about teaching and learning. I’m honestly really glad and excited we have a department meeting tomorrow whose sole purpose is discussing new curriculum, so I’ll have a good three hours of talking teaching and learning with other science nerds. I also have my PLC call tomorrow to get some more of that out of my system. Otherwise I’d have to find a damn conference or something and crash lunch.

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