This past Wednesday … my first tutoring times … just seemed to become such a wonderful day … I was so excited after the teaching that everything was at such a “high level.” I do not want to imply that other days are not wonderful … I am so very fortunate to be here. But, this day jumped so far ahead!!! I received a phone call around noon … this same Wednesday … and it is Lori, and she and Mike will be visiting around May 20th. This is Lori’s first visit since her father passed away … and I know it is going to be very difficult. … Received another phone call this same Wednesday … afternoon … and very, very good friends from Illinois will be visiting this coming Monday or Tuesday .
So … how did the teaching go? First … I really worried about getting to the school … I had to worry about something!!! The van … complimentary transportation by the facility … was not available. Amy was not responding to my texts … so I called my Jim … I was even texting Jim at 12:37 AM to ask about a ride … I asked him if he could pick me up around 8:45 AM and take me to the school … and return me back to this complex around 10:45 or so. Of course, at 8:45 AM, Amy and Jim are both waiting to take me to the school!!! Amy takes me to the school … since I cannot remember where my “room” is!!! And Jim will bring me home!!!
Amy gets me to my room … it is Room #133. Of course … there is someone in “my” room … I know next time to wait in the entrance lobby!!! Just a few minutes go by, and the other teacher goes with his students to another room … and my first group of four students come in … I introduce myself … “Katie Pedersen” … and I get the first name of each of the students. They have their copies of the problems … first problem ... “the perimeter of a rectangle.” I had decided to start with adding just two fractions … and then a reminder about what “perimeter ” is!!! I was so very lucky when one of the students agreed to go to the board. In general the other students got 21/27 as the sum of the two fractions … beautiful!!! … and the same as the board. I noticed that the “key”had reduced such numbers … and the students did not appear to know about reducing fractions. We talked it through in a partial conversation. (I have made a note that I want to do this many times so that they know reducing fractions by the end of our work.)
We were now ready to work the first problem on their paper: find the perimeter … I asked them what perimeter was and got many answers such as “inside”, “outside”, distance, … They knew some words so we went with “distance around.” I used my “imaginary red ribbon” to outline a rectangle on the board … listing the length of each side as we covered it by the “red ribbon” … their job was then to compute: 6/9 + 3/27 + 6/9 + 3/27 . Student “B” did this on the board. Other students worked at their seats. We had moderate success!!! It was, then, time to go … and I thanked the students for their time and for letting me spend the time with them — and they all thanked me. They were darling…
The next group of four students came in … and we did basically what the first group did. A beautiful student whom I knew from a previous activity volunteered to go to the board … and he really did a nice answer. We did not get quite as far as the first group, but we have the same skills … for each class … to work on next time … reducing fractions and using the concept of perimeter.
I have done my best to describe how I saw my teaching go … it is difficult to describe. I always get down to too fine of details. You probably would believe how much I have erased! I love the time with the students. That is really my reward for doing this tutoring!!! They know immediately that I like them … and that I enjoy the mathematics we are doing (well, sort of!).
That’s it … I will plan for next Wednesday!! The van can take me. And, I am so pleased with everything.