Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Quitting my day job..

I've been trying so hard to convince the math teacher at the school that I am perfectly capable of teaching her math classes for her.  So what if I don't have a degree in math??  So what if I found my own math tutor at 16 to help me get through Algebra II, even though my dad was a math teacher?

So, why is it that I even want to teach math anyway?

Well... it goes like this.  I teach English part time at this little school where I have Emily enrolled.  It's a darling school on so many levels.  I have really enjoyed my venture in English teaching, even though I won't continue it for next year.

But to end my teaching career with a grand flair, I have been hoping to teach all the kids for the entire day for three days in a row.  So, I am already subbing for the history/ Bible teacher, so why not cover math too?

I wanted to.. you know.. homeschool them.  I was hoping to have them make a big breakfast each morning, take them on a field trip, do some writing, play cribbage, maybe watch some Narnia.  Are these kids really going to die if they do "real life stuff" with Mrs. Webber for three days?  No.

I was thinking we'll "Charlotte Mason" them to death or something..  Go to the Arboretum, draw in our nature journals, etc.  Get them out and have them indulge in some fresh air!

Well.  That math teacher is not budging.  She is not convinced on my abilities in math education.  So I was contemplating this.

What is it about math anyway?  It's just numbers.  Those numbers have things they do with other numbers.  They have relationships.  They have personalities.  They just need to be told who's boss.  They need to be spanked.  We are bigger than they are.  We are in charge of them--not the other way around.

And as I was discussing the nature of mathematics with my students, I asked one of them to throw any equation on the board.   So, one of our Algebra II students puts  a very complicated equation on the board with a lot of x's and y's and square roots and junk.

Very well then.

I wrote this on the board:


1.  Get "y" to find his alter ego.  Interrogate him.  Make him confess. Get him to be real. 

2. Get "x" to identify himself.  Administer therapy. Give him a support group--preferably not an imaginary support group. 

3.  Show the numbers that you are boss.  Spank them into order.  Distribute, un-square root them,  simplify, and find the answer.

4. Make it pretty on graph paper.  Glam it up. Take a photo. Post it to facebook.

5.  Write the answer on paper, tweet it, shout it, digg it, publish, man. uberfact it. 

So, I was quite proud of myself for coming up with such a procedure, and I told the math teacher that when she was done teaching that she needed to come down to my room and look at something.

"You realize, Mrs. Webber, that she's going to think you're crazy if you show her this, " a bright student chimed in..

"Oh, you think very highly of me, don't you?" I answered the student.

"Why is that?"

"You are assuming that after teaching with me this entire year that she some how does not think I'm crazy....yet??"

But, really.  I think I could "in theory" teach the math class.  And I even contemplated giving up my day job to become a math teacher.

When those 10 seconds passed, I thought it might be easier to become a World War II veteran.

Yeah.  That's what I want to be--a World War II veteran.

So, how did I switch career paths so quickly?  Well... squirrel!! ...  um..  Oh yeah..  When I left that job, I got in my car to go teach study skills at the homeschool co-op and I realized that a World War II veteran was giving a talk in the sanctuary.  I did a very quick job of going through the lesson on study skills and suggested we do some hands on learning right now and go hear the veteran speak.

They were all excited to hear him.

The best part about it?

Well, I loved the way he told story after story of his adventures, and then he asked the polite little homeschoolers if they had any questions.  When all the hands shot up, he just looked off into the distance and started another story.  And when he finished that one, he asked again if there were questions.  Those same kids raised their hands.  And he promptly ignored them all and went into the next story.

That's the way to do it, pard.  Just keep 'em guessing.  Granted, he is probably 85, so we'll give him some slack.  His bright blue eyes just shown with clear memories and sweetness and love for the Lord.

So, that is the bottom line.  I think if I just told everyone that I'm a World War II veteran, I can just visit with kids, tell stories and ignore their questions.  Go home, take a nap and call it a day.

So, if you could quit your day job, what would you be?


Herding Grasshoppers said...

Oh Jena,

My boys are all in bed and I'm CRACKING UP! Your veteran, ignoring the raised hands, reminds me of a quote from a book we all loved (A Long Way From Chicago, by Richard Peck)... "Grandma saved herself a lot of bother by not being the kind of person you question." Have you read it? I think when I grow up I want to be Grandma Dowdel (I think that was her name.)

And GOOD GRIEF! I think you've discovered something: For some (many?) of us, it's just about as realistic to become a math teacher as a WW2 Veteran. In other words, I'm as likely to succeed at that as I am to sprout two feet taller and slam dunk a basketball in an NBA game.

I'm glad you can laugh at yourself... keeps life a lot more fun :D


Bernadette Veenstra said...

you can come teach my kids math ANYTIME!=)

Becky said...

If I could quit my day job, what would I be? Bored is the first thing that comes to mind, but then, I've got a whole list of things I'd just love to do if I had the time. Since being a mom isn't really a day job anyway, and you never really stop it, I guess I'll just keep doing what I'm doing and find time for some of those things once the homeschooling slows and then stops. By then though, I should have a few grandbabies to help with. :)
I kind of like my day/night, 24/7 job.

Organizing Mommy said...

Well, my day job of being a wife and mother is one that I never hope to quit. It's all of my illustrious "hobbies" that get bobbled around. The lunch lady, the math teacher and the WWII vet are all things I"ve contemplated over the last year.

sara said...

I think I'd like to be a slug. Or a rock. Something that doesn't have to move so much or think too hard. Boy, am I tired.

Mrs. Parunak said...

Hee hee. Charming. If I quit my day job, I'd probably want a similar day job like taking care of orphans or something similarly motherly.

WOW Gold said...

Rewritten Article

Charming. If I abdicate my day job, I'd apparently wish a agnate day job like demography affliction of orphans or something analogously motherly.