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The joy of teaching

My high level (HL) 11th grade students are just finishing a summative assessment. In the International Baccalaureate (IB) world teachers never give a test that counts unless they give a practice test a week before. We call it a formative assessment. It's not just review, but taken seriously as students want to know where they stand.

One of my 11th grade HL students was having a tough emotional week and did very poorly on the formative last week. There were tears. Lots of them. Having the feeling that you're somehow responsible for her emotional pain is tough. She came after school and got some help. There was a lot of frustration and "I can't do this". It was surprising because she is one of my better students. I haven't seen this sort of behavior out of her before. This was the last page of her summative today.

Apparently "All students agree" with her. Nice touch. Some weeks are tougher than others as a teacher. This has been a tougher than average week. Having a student like this makes the job a rewarding adventure. She spent 20 hours studying and getting help. Not all with me, but she spent serious time in my room after school. It's not that she thinks I'm the best (well, that's nice too), but more that she's walking away with that confident feeling that she can do this. That's the most satisfying aspect. It's the impact that all teachers want. We want our kids to walk away changed in a better way.

Mom news is unchanged today. I believe Moira is visiting Lynden Manor tomorrow. She's having a tough time finding a time that will mesh with the staff there for a visit. I'm hopeful that this place has something very specific for mom. A place that she can get outside and wander while not being able to wander off. Maybe some light gardening is a possibility? At Summit where she's currently living I believe she's at the point where she's afraid to go outside. It's like she knows that if she wanders outside she's going to get lost. I know this is tough for Moira, so I asked my buddy Mike if he could help advocate for my mom. There's going to be meetings that involve financial aspects for Medicaid and I think Mike would be perfect for the job. He's been down this road having lost his mom a few years back. Another momma's boy. It's good to have friends you can rely on. I've got a bunch that wouldn't hesitate to help if I asked. I'm a lucky guy that way.

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