I like what I do. I like writing about what I do. It's not all sunshine and rainbows though. Understand that about anyone who documents their practice. Today I share an historic bad day.

It's second semester in Calculus, we are plodding along through integration. Practice is going fine, there is some confusion about u-substitution, but nothing out of the ordinary. Homework completion rate is a little low, but hey, second semester seniors are super like that.

For Calculus I hacked together a weird SBG kinda thing. Tests have three sections, two skills sections rated on a 0-6 scale, and a concepts section rated 0-8. Rather than have a built in two attempt system, they can redo skills but not concepts after school. I gave 8 tests and 3 mini AP exams last semester. This year we've had 3 tests (with 3 remaining) and they will take 1 mini AP exam and 1 full length exam prior to the real one.

First two tests of the semester were fine, higher than average, I was feeling great about our progress. And then, last Friday:

Complete and utter devastation. The first column is an average out of 12, the second out of 8. I didn't do anything different. I even discussed the test with another teacher the night before.

It has been a long time since something like this happened. I was mad, I was screaming at them mentally. There was a bad energy in the room the day of, I could feel something was wrong, it put me in a bad mood. I delayed grading them as long as possible to avoid any anger bias.

A lot of coping via loud music later and I had calmed a little.

The story of how we moved on coming soon.

AuthorJonathan Claydon