“Should I test him out?”

Today, my supervisor conducted his second formal observation of my student teaching for my credential.  Since tomorrow is an end of marking period final exam, today focused entirely on review: proportions and equations of a line.  My time in front of the class went fair, I could have been better, but all in all, I was happy with my teaching.  As was my CT, and supervisor.

What really made my day was when I was helping a student out with a problem at her desk, another student, Tomas, pointed to my supervisor and asked me if he was famous since my CT just told him so.  I played along and said “Didn’t you see his ring?” (as if that made him famous) to which my student said “I don’t know him so he can’t be famous.”  I followed up with, well “you know me, so I guess I must…” and Tomas smiled ear to ear, catching my drift.  He then asked me if my supervisor was tough.  I said sure, he’s tough and nice.  Tomas followed up with a “Should I test him out?”  I said he could do whatever he wanted, however, it might make me look bad since I was kneeling right next to Tomas.  Tomas thought about it, smiled, and said, “Nah. I won’t” and went on about his classwork, which mostly consisted of giving his neighbor, Kristen, a hard time, in a joking way.

I found Tomas’ question intriguing.  While he is definitely the jokester of the class, he was semi-serious, and truly looking for my advice, or at least it seemed that way.  I enjoy working with Tomas, even though he is struggling mightily in all of his classes (all F’s and on D), and in life (very sad home life and story).  It is such a shame to see the potential in these youth wasted since they either do not believe in themselves, or their environment weighs them down so much that they cannot overcome its drag, so they stay stuck in a community going nowhere, except possibly down a road that leads to a very harsh life.

This is one of the major problems I have with our overzealous reliance on pure capitalism.  The very few receive so much and so many receive so little; and the divide between the haves and have-nots grows wider each year.  Seeing these challenges makes me think about our President’s “re-distribution of wealth” initiatives, in a way I never would have contemplated just a year ago, especially as a card-carrying MBA grad.  There is something wrong in our society when we let wealth accrue to such a few off of the capital, financial and labor, of the masses, especially from the un- and undereducated.

I am reflecting on what I can do to help make a serious change in this equation.


About Dave aka Mr. Math Teacher

Secondary math teacher teaching math intervention, algebra 1, honors precalculus, and AP Calculus AB. I spent 25 years in high tech in engineering, marketing, sales and business development roles in the satellite communications, GPS, semiconductor, and wireless industries. I am awed by the potential in our nation's youth and I hope to instill in them the passion to improve our world at local, state, national, and global levels.
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2 Responses to “Should I test him out?”

  1. eo says:

    I was one of those getting Ds and Fs at that point in my life. I was overwhelmed by the circumstance of my life. My 8th grade math teacher told me that I needed intestinal fortitude. I had to ask her what that meant. It took awhile to internalize the message but it stayed with me. I never got a chance to thank her for what she provided. Know that holding each student to the highest standard serves them.


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