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…you’re welcome Jr High School students everywhere. :)
The following is a true story.
Ms. White was my ninth grade Algebra teacher. I struggled in her class because she wasn’t very good at explaining how X = Y. I learn best with demonstration, but she couldn’t walk me through it.
- Ms. White was good at one thing, though. She knew how to make us laugh.
On one November afternoon, I was so confused by her diagram, that I asked her to explain the process in a way that I would understand. She turned around slowly and looked at me. A smile spread across her wide face. And with great triumph, she said…
"Frank. If we opened up your head, and poured the knowledge in, it would leak out your feet!"
This of course, got a roar of laughter from the class. But it did little to help me understand the algebraic formula she had drawn on the board.
Ms. White reused her clever little line on several other students that year. But I hold the honor of being the first. My fellow classmates didn’t let me forget it, either. So, for the rest of the year, I was reluctant to raise my hand in her class. Predictably, I did not do very well.
I wasn’t the only student who had to attend summer school to make up the credit that year. We were twenty in that year’s summer algebra course. So it makes me wonder how this woman was able to continue teaching, in spite of complaints by me, and several other students and parents that year.
Don’t get me wrong. The majority of my teachers were good. Several of them were excellent. And these teachers deserve to be paid handsomely for their time and effort. But when there are so many students struggling in one teacher’s class, the teacher’s effectiveness should be examined.
BTW- Ms. White was still teaching seven years later, when my younger sister entered ninth grade. Happily, she was assigned a different teacher.