Jordan receives a large amount of our funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, so Melinda Gates came by the school Tuesday with a mini-entourage to see how we were doing and where her money was going. Because my principal is so proud of his senior boys academy, and because they are so different from the other students at the school (and more successful too), Melinda visited their class.
One of the Assistant Principals was showing her around when they visited the boys class. When I ran into her afterschool, she recapped part of the conversation for me.
Apparently Melinda had been asking them about their most meaningful classes, and the general concensus was that Trigonometry was on the top of the list. As Melinda probed them more, they shared that I’ve always pushed them to be better, given them the encouragement to keep trying. Emmett even told Melinda Gates that I wasn’t going to let them fail, I wasn’t going to let them give up. They said they understood math when I taught it; they said they’ve learned more math than they thought they could. As the conversation continued, the AP I ran into leaned over to ask who their math teacher was. When he gave her my name, she responded with “yes, i like her too”.
I knew they liked me, but I didn’t know they actually learned a lot from me and felt that way about my teaching. After my miserable day Monday, I needed to hear that.