Working for the weekday

For the second time in as many weeks, I’ve kept my classroom open until 6 p.m. to students who are interested in raising their grades. This evening’s work session was very productive. Four students came in to work. Three of them improved their grades — two by an entire letter, and one by several percentage points — and the fourth got a list of missing assignments and discussed them with me, so I expect to see that grade go up soon.

We had a good time, too. I brought snacks this time, which made it more fun, and I suspect once word gets out that the snacks in question include stuff like hot-wing-flavored Pringles and homemade brownies, I’ll end up with more participants.

It’s funny: You’d think I’d be exhausted after spending all day up to my teeth in kids, but these tutoring sessions are actually energizing. I think I get as excited as the kids do when I record the grades and see the percentages rise, and it’s fun to shoot the bull with my students in a more relaxed environment. I think it’s good for them, because they can ask me questions and not feel intimidated by the work, and I know it’s good for me, because it gives me a little better insight into where they are, where they’re coming from, and what is and isn’t working. Plus we all get to see each other as real people when we don’t have a lesson plan to follow or a bunch of classroom procedures to worry about.

Now, if I can just figure out how to teach them to recognize and understand metaphors, we’ll be in business….