Friday, May 20, 2016

The Almost Graduate


For helping with state testing week at the continuation high school, I spent the afternoons covering the special ed. resource room. (Mornings were for testing. Afternoons, the kiddos who weren't testing showed up to have a "normal" school day.) Which meant helping students with work from various other classes.

Taylor was in class for two periods. She had one credit to finish. That is, she was one credit shy of graduating.

The credit was in math.

How much work makes up a credit depends on the teacher. For math, it was a few assignments. Five? Seven? Something like that.

For three days, Taylor sort of kind of worked toward that credit. This was the continuation high school, so she needed a push to stay on task. Was easily distracted. And since she's also special ed., she needed extra help.

Help I could provide. Because math.

On day 2 (Wednesday), her neighbor introduced her to the app that does problems for you. You type in the problem, and it solves it for you. With all the steps.

But we didn't need to do that, I argued. This was going to be the last thing she learned in high school. Why not actually learn it?

We struggled through that worksheet. Multi-step solving-for-x problems.

On day 3, she was two assignments shy of completing her credit. We spent much of the time on one of them. It was on graphing.

We didn't get a chance to finish the last assignment. But it looked like she'd finish up and graduate on Friday the 13th. (She argued that perhaps she should aim for the next week. I explained that I've always had pretty good luck on Friday the 13th, so it would be an auspicious day to get her diploma.)

The testing only went for four days, but the teacher I had worked with all week needed to take Friday off, so I ended up covering her classes. Second period, the special ed. teacher walked in with Taylor.

The teacher explained that as things had gone so well all week with Taylor, Taylor had requested my help with that last assignment.

I got the class started on their work, and then I sat with Taylor. It took the whole period, but we finished that assignment.

In the next hour, the announcement went out over the school's PA that Taylor had graduated. (There were actually four graduations that day.) So, success.

Many of the posts I do that center on the continuation high school (well, many of the posts I do) center on a kiddo's bad behavior. Because that makes for a more interesting story. But while all of that is happening, there are those that get through and get done. Because that's the point of it all, anyway.

38 comments:

  1. You must've made an impact on her. Awesome she graduated.

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  2. How neat she graduated! I bet that was a good feeling for you to have helped a bit in getting her there!

    betty

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    1. I was happy for her. I only helped a bit with that last credit, so not much help, really.

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  3. Even if it's so much easier to use an app, it is still important to do it the long way so you can learn how to solve problems. And good for her for getting through it and graduating. Maybe your Friday the 13th luck rubbed off on her.

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  4. Congrats to Taylor! Friday the 13th is her lucky day. =)

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  5. Because math...what? I am dying to know, Liz. Meantime, I will celebrate Taylor's graduation. Taylor had your help but she worked hard, did it herself and I applaud her. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. Because I'm good at math. Math's my subject. Algebra 1? Easy-peasy. No problem. (I figured it went without saying that because it was a math credit, I was the one to help.)

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  6. It's a nice change of pace! It's got to give you a good feeling when you know you managed to really help one.
    Barbara, blogging at Life & Faith in Caneyhead

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  7. Good for Taylor for accomplishing that goal. Maybe she'll want to accomplish more...One can hope. And chalk up another one for the teachers :)

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  8. 13 has always been a good number for me. In fact, it is currently my apartment number. That's awesome that Taylor was able to graduate, and it sounds like you really had an impact on her.

    Mary
    Jingle Jangle Jungle

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    1. I didn't have an impact. I helped her with that last credit, that's all.

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  9. We're all different. I to struggled in Math and test taking. Well good for her for completing the task and now is able to graduate.
    Coffee is on

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  10. I like your story about Taylor. You provided her with the encouragement she needed to understand that she could get it done. I like how you told her that Friday the 13th has been lucky for you.
    Actually, I'd like to hear more of these stories. :)

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  11. There's always the good students among the bad. Yay for Taylor!

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    1. I don't know if I'd call her a "good" student. But she did manage to get it done.

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  12. That's wonderful. You made a difference in her life and she will always remember you as one of the best.

    @Kathleen01930 Blog

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    1. I bet she doesn't even remember me right now just a week after this happened.

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  13. Liz, what a happy ending for one young girl! Do these types of students go on to college? I often wonder with their education struggles how many attempt college life. Anywho, what a wonderful way to end the week and school year!

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  14. Sometimes it only takes one success to lead to a lifetime of them. Congratulations to Taylor and you!

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    1. Congratulations to Taylor. Me? I was just doing my job.

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  15. I rarely become completely serious, but there's a special place in heaven for people like you. Well done!

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  16. Replies
    1. It was quite the accomplishment for her.

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  17. Yay! Congrats to Taylor! Sounds like you and her made a great team! You did a fantastic job encouraging her and pushing her to finish!

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  18. Woot!! I'm sure Taylor appreciated all of your help!!

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    1. She was definitely happy to finish.

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  19. This is what makes your job worthwhile. She requested your help and you were there for her and bto cause of you, she graduated. Congrats to her for completing everything also

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    1. Yeah, some days it can actually be worth it.

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  20. Well done, to both of you! You must be thrilled.

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