End game

I had the end game in sight. I carefully planned out all my Algebra II classes so that we could learn the very basics of matrices and systems of equations, and have one last quiz on them, before the school’s official “review days” kick in. (No assessments during those days.)

Everything was peachy keen.

Until I learned that, oh, yeah, the school was taking away one of my classes and giving it to an Academic Awards Ceremony. Which is fine, I can deal. But that’s one of those things that get slipped through the cracks in terms of “let’s tell new teachers that the awards presentation is during class!”

The point is, everything had been planned out. I had dotted every i, crossed every t. (The jots and tittles were there, I swear!) Now with that class given up to the awards ceremony, everything gets totally screwed up in terms of teaching. It’s not just missing that one class, but it’s a perfect storm. One consequence is that, get this:

there will be a stretch of 7 days (that’s including 2 weekend days) that I don’t see one of my Algebra II classes, due to something or another.

Let’s go through them in order: there’s the one day that week we don’t meet regularly (rotating schedule), there’s a high school field trip day, there’s the awards ceremony day, there’s saturday and sunday, there’s memorial day, and there is registration day.

There are other issues, in terms of the quiz I was going to be giving them. Normally, this is all no sweat. I roll with the punches, I can jiggle something here and finagle something there. But in end game mode, you have nothing to adjust to make everything work. I’ll pull a Tim Gunn, and it’ll all play out nicely. It’s just annoying that I have to pull a Tim Gunn in the first place.

As an aside, sorry for all the metaphors, or whatever I’m doing (“roll with the punches,” “end game,” “jot and tittle,” “perfect storm,” “slipped through the cracks”). I don’t know what’s wrong with me.



  1. Unfortunately, geometry is That Thing I Don’t Plan On Teaching For A While.

    Partly it’s because I didn’t get really excited about it when I was in HS (although a lot of self-proclaimed math geeks really hit their stride in geometry), and partly it’s because the tricky part is honing their intuition when it comes to proofs.

    2-column proofs (not that I’m in favor of them, honestly) lack that formulaic procedure that students like to latch on to. You have to get them to “see” what’s going on, and hone their intuition, so they know what theorem to use.

    Not that designing a lesson plan or two around that intuition building would be impossible, but having to do it for a quarter or two?

    But the geometry teachers at my school seem to use a really good book, and they have this magical box sent by the book publishers which holds a ton of worksheets and assessments. That set of resources seem to help them out. I can get you that info if that would help.

    You’re going to be great at this in summer school.

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