Teaching is so confusing.
I was extremely encouraged by many of my students on Friday, who did well in class, and engaged with me both academically and in general. They asked me when my wife was due and what we were going to name the baby and told me about their weekends. I saw old students from last semester who seemed to appreciate seeing me and wanted to talk to me. I like my job.
I was also discouraged by some discipline issues and disagreements with some students and their parents. It was rough. I still like my job.
On Friday I threw together a scavenger hunt activity that I had my students play after a Quizlet. This was a last minute inspiration on Friday morning so I was really pleased with how it went. I gave the students 10 adding and subtracting polynomial problems of increasing difficulty, wrote down the solutions on little slips of paper, and hid them around the classroom.
Students across all blocks really engaged and seemed to enjoy the activity. I really liked how it went. If I did it again I would tell the students they can’t touch the answers–they kept moving them and making them easier to find. I also need to make sure that students actually do the work before they look for the answers. Some of them just tried to match answers they found to plausible problems from the list. And I had a few students just sit there and do the problems. And I had a few students sit there and not do the problems. But most of the students participated and had fun.
I made it clear that all students had to complete the worksheet for credit and then only incentivized participating by offering trivial amounts of extra credit on the sheet for finishing in the first three places.
This went really well in all three blocks and overall it was a good Friday. It was a hard week discipline-wise, but I think I am getting better at it.
Thanks for reading.