A friendly reminder that we all have our days.

Friday was fairly straightforward, Calc AB and College Algebra had assessments, and we were going to fiddle with Taylor Series in Calc BC. Easy, right?

First I'm five minutes late. I also haven't made copies of anything I need for the day. So, open the room, wave the kids in, dash up to the copier. All this as the first late bell is ringing. On the way up to the copier two kids are trying to make a run for it out an exterior door. Got them back inside and shoo'd about 15 others who were trying to sneak in to avoid being late, a common problem we have.

Copy room! No line! Yes! Except the first machine I try throws a bunch of errors. Don't have time, move on to another. I get things copied and cut, and at this point it's almost 8:00, nearly 15 minutes into class. My first class needs to take the assessment that is currently in my hands. Fortunately it's short (Calc AB takes ~30 minute assessments that they check at the end). I manage to check homework and get them started such that they have plenty of time to work.

I didn't make the answer key in advance (each AB class has their own version of the test for which there are 2 sub versions, so 1 AB test = 6 keys), so I work on that while they work. Time's up, we check, no errors on my part.

Second Calc AB group comes in. Things are calmer now that I'm ready. Check homework, pass stuff out, work on their answer key. Time's up, we check, aaaaand I screwed up a couple of them. A small riot breaks out because kids are very adamant that there's no way what I have is the answer. And good for them being confident in their work enough to call me out. This will be important later.

Fortunately there's enough time before they leave to correct the mistake. They calm down and are able to check their stuff accurately. The rest of the day passes with minimal incident. College Algebra and Calc BC proceed with no problems.

Last class of the day! I even made the answer key while College Algebra was working so I didn't have to scramble. I chill out while they work. Time's up, let's check!

"um, what...?"
"I'm going to cry..."

Actually, I don't remember anyone boo'ing, but there was, simply put, a scene. I don't know what funky logic I was using while completing their key, but MAN, there were some problems. Unfortunately there was not enough time to figure out everything that was wrong, so they were only able to accurately gauge a couple of them.

It all worked out in the end, I found all the errors in the various keys, kids got graded accurately and there was a greater calm on Monday when I passed them back (kids do an initial check, I then verify and assign a score).

You never know when these moments of crisis will arise, the important thing is to trust the procedures you have in place. Kids were confident enough in their work to call me out. I was confident enough in them to take a second look, and not so confident that I can't admit fault in front of them. It's fine for kids to know that yes, you bleed.

AuthorJonathan Claydon