Second Breakfast: Day 180


Second Breakfast: Day 179

I proctored my final Final Exam to my 6/7 CP Geometry course this morning and had grades finalized by the end of the day.

Most of today was like the last two days. I sat at my desk and worked on end-of-the-year paperwork while students worked on their final projects and sometimes came up to ask me questions.

So, mostly uneventful.

I did get a chance to mess with a student before lunch. I was on the elevator to go to the 3rd floor and it stopped at the 2nd. A student with a full leg brace–and I mean full, it was ankle to hip–and crutches hobbled on. I moved over to let him on, looked at him, and then said:

“Where’s your elevator pass?”

The student’s face:


He legit thought I wanted to see his pass.

I couldn’t keep my poker face for very long though, I had to tell him I was just messing with him.

Other than that, not much happened. My 3/4 Geometry was very kind and helped me take down all of my posters since I am moving to the second floor. (I have a different class schedule and it requires me to be in a different, smaller room. But, on the plus side I will have shiny new desks whose chairs aren’t attached to them.)

I am in much better spirits now than I was the past two days, but I definitely still need to take a break. It has been a rough second year.

Thanks for reading.


Second Breakfast: Day 178

“A little discouraged” may have been an understatement yesterday. I felt pretty frustrated by the time I got home. There are some other work-related frustrations that contributed to that feeling, but what I outlined yesterday was the main reason. I was at the point that I didn’t want to return to teaching next year.

I am not so frustrated today.

Students are still working on wrapping up their final projects and my last class has their final exam tomorrow.

I know that the summer will help, but I don’t know why the end of this year (or this year in general) has felt so much more frustrating than last year. Maybe I expected my first year to be hard and so I thought that my second year, although still difficult, wouldn’t be so challenging. Realizing that I was wrong made me think about what I am doing in this profession.

Sorry. Colleagues have told me before (most recently yesterday) that they appreciate honesty on my blog, but sometimes I have to censor myself too. I wanted this to be a record of my experience teaching and hopefully include some helpful advice for teaching math, but sometimes it feels like a public log of a private pity party.

Thanks for reading.



Second Breakfast: Day 177

I am feeling a little discouraged today.

My algebra students working on their final project seemed to have forgotten already what the equation of a line is.

My geometry students working on their final project seem to have no idea what a proof is.

It’s incredibly frustrating to spend months, MONTHS with a group of people and give them all kinds of different ways to see and understand a basic idea of a course, and so many of them seem to have not learned the ideas at all. And some of these students did well enough on the tests to pass. It’s like summer loss has started and it isn’t even summer yet. They’ve already dumped the info! ARGH.

I don’t know. Even though this semester was one of my best yet, I don’t know how I feel about this last month or so. It has been a struggle. I have had coworkers tell me “If you reach at least one kid, it was worth it” but I really think there has been a fundamental disconnect with what I have poured my time and energy into 8 hours a day for the last 90 days and the experience that the 71 students I was working with had.




Second Breakfast: Day 176

I also forgot to write a post on Friday.

We had a senior assembly the first 3 hours of school and then all of my classes were working on final projects.

Our school had state testing obligations that have forced us to continue school into this week, but it would have been much nicer to finish the year on Friday. The students are dead. Some of them are working on their project and others just show up to class. I don’t have much energy myself.

I am glad that I did these final projects though. The students who are motivated are coming to me regularly during the periods for help.

I feel like I am running on auto-pilot at this point.


Second Breakfast: Day 175

I totally forgot to write a post yesterday. I had to rush out of work because I needed to watch my kids while my wife took care of something. I also forgot to run the scantrons for 3/4 block’s geometry final, which was unfortunate because I promised them I would have the grades posted that day. So, once my wife was finished I went back to work, ran the tests, and uploaded them to PowerSchool.

The geometry tests were encouraging. Most of the students not only passed, but a reasonable amount also did better than just “scrape by”. I needed that little affirmation that I am not an awful teacher after grading the Foundations In Algebra exams, which were a bloodbath.

Only one of my blocks still need to take their exam, but I still have all of my classes until next Thursday. So I have big projects for everyone to work on because otherwise I would effectively be babysitting a madhouse each period. It would be cool to do some enrichment lessons, but I am tired, and it is nearly impossible to get the students to try anything at this stage. (It’s hard enough during the year, let alone a week until summer.) The best I can hope for is to give them a final project.

Thanks for reading.


Second Breakfast: Day 174

Today was the scheduled exam day for my Foundations In Algebra class. Although this class had some good spots, it’s been a huge wear on my motivation and mental health this semester. It’s pushed me past the breaking point a few times. I don’t really know what to do. It’s been an incredibly discouraging class.