Who Done It?
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
I'd be lying if I said my job is fulfilling 100% of the time. There are trials and tribulations that I'd rather not get into that pull at my heart and make me question why I chose this as a career. However, when my students dive right into an activity, participate, and even "get" something from it, I can't help but crush those doubts of mine.
I am fortunate enough this year to teach a senior "capstone" course. In this class, I have 16 seniors who are trying to take a 4th high school math to achieve an advanced diploma, but perhaps do not see a math-intensive career path in their futures. Because of this, I have to find creative ways to convince them that math is not only relevant, but necessary. Recently, my students completed a simulated blood-spatter analysis to determine who the killer was in a faux murder case. I've never seen all 16 of them working so hard for the entire 90 minute block, and was so proud of their interest and efforts.
I tend to be candid about my job (for the protection of my school and students, as well as my professional career); however, this project and the passion these kids had for discovering the answer really moved me. I hate that I don't get opportunities in all my classes to incorporate activities such as this one, but am grateful for this chance. These kids worked hard. They collected data, created spreadsheets analyzing said data, and calculated lines of best fit for their data. They were not only able to determine the murderer in the simulation, but were able to justify how and why the math was relevant in doing such. It was a truly rewarding teaching moment.
So often my hands are tied and I feel forced to stick to a curriculum for the sake of state test results. However, in this instance, I caught a glimmer of hope. My students genuinely appreciated the opportunity to partake in a hands-on and interesting activity, and rose to the task of using the math to justify their reasoning. I felt so gracious to work with these young ladies and gentlemen on this task, and appreciative that this opportunity put my career into perspective for me.
It may not always be easy to live the career I have chosen, but in moment such as these, it is worth it.
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