Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Kids These Days

I had a really interesting day at work today. And it just reminded me how amazing teenagers can be.

Club Presidency

I met this morning before school with my new math club presidency. Jill and Lacey are two amazing senior girls who are both brilliant at math. I sat down and rattled off everything I could think of that they needed to know about our first lunch meeting (which was - today). I told them what needed to happen, what info we needed to gather, and what we needed to communicate. I also told them that I wanted them to do most of the talking. Without blinking an eyelash, they divvied up responsibilities, made an agenda, and planned and carried out a pretty great first meeting - with very little warning or prep time.  I couldn't help but think that these girls were so well prepared because - without a doubt - they have had opportunities to lead in their classes at church, and this has helped prepare them for other leadership opportunities. My math club anxiety dropped exponentially (pun intended) after watching them take charge.

So impressed with these girls.

Student Teachers - Literally

Mr. Palmer's lovely and amazing daughter Ashley went in to the MTC (Missionary Training Center) today. She is on her way to serve as an LDS missionary in Hong Kong for 18 months, and her family had this last day with her before seeing her off, so naturally, Mr. Palmer took a personal day off from work.
In order to keep his classes on track (he teaches upper level courses which cannot afford to miss a day), he arranged to have 3 young men teach his classes today (my brilliant idea). Two of the boys are high school seniors and the third is recently graduated and studying at UVU to be a math teacher. Mr. Palmer gave them a lesson outline, talked them through the basic plan, and left them to prepare to teach the class. The sub was there to help maintain classroom discipline and keep the students from setting the room on fire, but these boys took over and taught the whole lesson on their own. The sub couldn't say enough about how impressed he was with their preparation and their maturity.

At the beginning of 1st period, I was listening around the corner of the door when Kevin introduced himself to the Precalculus class. "Many of you know me. I'm Kevin Goodrich and I'll be teaching you today. Please don't feel like you need to call me Mr. Goodrich while I'm here. You can just call me Kevin." (General laughter.)
Oh my goodness, what a cutie.

Zach did an awesome job teaching AB Calculus, as did Jake (who showed up in slacks, a white shirt and shiny blue tie). I slipped into Jake's class after I was done with my lesson, and found him wandering the aisles, checking on student progress and answer students' questions - like he owned that place.

So impressed with these boys.

Math Club - Anyone? Anyone?

We had about 40 students show up for our first math club meeting. They were so excited I thought some of them might cry. The highlight for me was when I gave them each 100 multiplication problems and 1 minute to do as many as possible. After counting down and yelling "Go!", 40 papers turned simultaneously and 40 pencils started writing frantically. After a few initial squeaks and groans, it was just silence and the rustling of papers. I stood there and watched them and just kind of geeked out. Doing multiplication drills in the 4th grade was one of my favorite tasks, and I was dang good at it. I was surrounded by dozens of nerdy kindred spirits.
At the moment I called "Time!", 40 pencils dropped and 40 bodies exhaled. You could almost feel the air pressure change. I swear they were all holding their breath as they frantically worked those problems.
When we talked about opportunities for tutoring, guest speakers, and field trips, some of them actually started to bounce in their seats. Eleven students signed up for consideration to be on the math club council. These kids are so excited for opportunities to learn, grow, serve, and lead.

I can't wait to see what they come up with.


  1. this is adorable. are you talking about lacey jones? she's totally in my home ward and i wouldn't be at all surprised at her doing that.

  2. And I kind of love the other one. Just sayin.

    I really think the common denominator (pun intended) with all the great kids at the high school is YOU! You, and the other fantastic teachers we are lucky enough to have there.

  3. Yay! So awesome. What a blessed life you lead.., and what a blessing you are to those around you... none of which is me. I'm kinda miffed bout that... And did you know I was the Math club pres at Ricks college for a year? :-)

    1. Hey Miller! I did NOT know that you were the Math Club president! You are such a talented girl. :)