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.