On Monday I wrote the below for an application I was completing.
Essay #1: Describe a recent interaction that made a difference in a student’s day.
Mia’s 4thgrade hand went up and I walked to her desk. She had just completed her online Unit 7 math assessment. It was 26 questions on measurement and elapsed time. I asked her to press “Check Status” and the screen showed that all 26 questions were answered. I asked her if she was ready to submit. With a nervous look, she said, “Yes.” After pressing submit, the screen read, “You answered 26 out of 26 questions correctly.” She about jumped out of her seat. The biggest smile came across her face.
Let’s rewind back seven months. I met Mia, her mom and dad during the Open House the Thursday before school started. The dad hung around to chat with me once the crowd started to disperse. “I just want you to know that Mia failed her Math SOL test last year and we don’t want that to happen again.” I thanked him for sharing his concern with me about Mia and that I would do all I could to help her in math this year.
As the months progressed, I kept a close watch on Mia. I noticed immediately that she had no confidence in her math ability. I started with where she was and helped to move her forward. I got manipulatives and math fact charts, read math books, and asked a district’s math specialist to come watch me teach to give me more ideas. At the end of the first quarter, I could see that one period of math a day was not enough time to make up the holes in Mia’s and a few other students math knowledge. I offered a before school Math Club on Mondays and Wednesdays. Mia never missed Math Club. Slowly, she started to gain confidence. She started to have a sense of math. She started to raise her hand in class.
Her smile the moment she saw that she answered all right on a math assessment showed me I made a difference in Mia’s day. At that moment, she smiled as a confident mathematician!