YAY! More good news - I got permission to take one kid and teach her math. Pray for "Kayla". She is so sweet and so kind, but she struggles in math. Our school has a math curriculum which I do not agree with at all, but they (administration) love it. Most parents and teachers find it confusing and unusual. Kayla is in sixth grade, and really, she does have some serious problems in math - but this curriculum doesn't help her. The curriculum is all about understanding the concept. So they teach many different ways to do a problem so you "see" the concept. Well, Kayla doesn't see anything! She hasn't since second grade, and all this "do the problem this way... oh, and now change to that way.... oh, and now another way..." has gotten her totally confused and demoralized. In sixth grade, she still can not consistently figure out how to multiply two digit numbers!
I have tutored Kayla in fourth grade and was asked to again now.... I tried.... I really tried. Then I went to the principal and said I would be willing to take her for the first hour every day and tutor her, but ONLY if I can take her OFF this curriculum, put her into a normal curriculum, and put her back in third grade math. She will likely never understand all of the "why" of the concepts, but given a consistent way to do a problem, she can do it right. Hopefullly, if we continue to be consistent and she can actually see a page that she CAN complete and understand, her attitude towards math will improve from "there is no hope for me" to "hey, I get this", and we can make progress. I don't think I can catch her up to her grade level, but I am fairly confident that we can make significant progress.
But you would not believe the opposition I had from administration to the suggestion of taking her off the curriculum! It took me a few weeks of talking to get to that point.... you'd think the very fact of Kayla not being really up to third grade math despite being tutored for several years and getting help at home would be enough to make them willing to try anything! The problem with the tutoring is that is has all been aimed at getting her to keep up with her present class. Umm.... that was fine when the difference was a year or two in skills, but now we are approaching a four year gap, and she CAN'T keep up, no matter how hard we push. How can she? All her math book tells her, day after day, is that she is stupid.
Time for a change. So, today, I am thrilled to have permission to teach "Kayla" math. She is excited, too. Can I ask you to really pray for her? We have so little time to be able to make a significant difference in this. I believe she can do it. Pray for confidence, a willingness to work, and for her to be able to grasp concepts. Pray that we can quickly progress through third grade this year and begin on fourth grade math soon.
I enjoy teaching. I enjoy watching the results. Two years ago, I spent an hour a day with a struggling ESL reader and took her from C-A-T is what?? in second grade to a decent reader. Now, when I am in that class helping and I hear her read, I smile.
I just like things that show fruit. I think one of the hardest things working in the people group we work in is that fruit grows so slowly... so it is fun to do something that does show results.