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Day 78: Subbing for Math at the STEM School

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Day 78/180: math classes at the local STEM school

I’ve worked in large public high schools and in a one-on-one environment, but not a magnet-type “choice” school. I see the benefit of taking kids of a particular academic-persuasion and putting them in one building: they encourage each other because of automatic similarities. A whole school of techy-nerdy kids was interesting for me.

I sat in on geometry and algebra classes, mostly freshmen. There was far less brand-name clothing, and far more brand-name technology and gadgets. Even though it was Friday before the Super Bowl, and this was their fifth day in a row of substitutes, the kids were basically on-task. One group of boys was bored with the worksheets, and broke out a game of chess instead of texting friends or web-surfing. This “academic maturity” was also apparent in the demeanor of the kids: They were all very polite and focused on the assignments, and they went straight to work. It’s something I usually only seen in honors/advanced classes. It makes me wonder about the standards that these kids are accustomed to, and whether they’re used to it because of this school, or because of something at home, or something else. A chicken-and-egg issue, perhaps? Not that other kids are rude and/or unfocused, necessarily, but every kid in the building had this same all-school-business attitude and work ethic.

That being said, the emotional maturity of those freshmen was… well, sophomoric. And age-appropriate (or age-expected?)


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