I asked a scholar who I don't typically teach what it felt like to be a scholar in my room, he replied by saying he felt smart. Every kid wakes up wanting to feel successful and frankly tenacity isn't enough. My scholars deserve the best of me and the best resources I can offer.
We are a non-fed charter high school in the city of New Orleans.
About 92% of our students qualify for free/reduced lunch, and our average scholar comes to us in the ninth grade reading at a fourth grade level.
Despite these daunting figures, our students refuse to settle when it comes to their education. We ask our scholars to make about 10 grades worth of growth in their 4 years with us and, time and again, they outperform every expectation, performing at the top of the district in nearly every exam the state gives. The teachers work hard, our scholars work hard, and the reward is college success.
My scholars are hilarious to say the least and frankly people I look forward to spending each day with. They take feedback (academic and social) and grow... quickly. They don't make excuses for themselves and have the right to be able to chase their dreams.
Math Journals (best invention)- Scholars learn in 9th grade the soft skill of being organized with a journal they take pride in because of the countless hours spent never giving up and trying problems over and over again. Labels help us be efficient and stick notes in journals so there is more time for practice and exploration.
Dry-Erase boards w/coordinate grid/protractors (2nd best inventions)- Our class value is excellence, meaning we focus on precision. As we move through functions and linear equations, being able to graph with precision can be the difference between a misconception and mastery. Showing work on white boards allows me to see all work at once and they're fun!
Calculators (3rd best invention)- Although mental math and a conceptual understanding of number sense is imperative, it can't become an obstacle to mastering grade level content (which they're BEASTING because they are given tools to access content).
With these materials in our classroom, scholars will have greater attention to detail, be able to efficiently work through material, and have greater ownership of the academic and soft skills they are developing.
As for them personally, I need my scholars to know that there are people who value their education as much as I do because there is something about people investing in you that changes your beliefs about what is possible.
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