An Apology

Sometimes I forget that students care if I like them.

I received an email from one of my students a few weeks ago, and the subject line read, "an apology".  She apologized for "being moody".  She went on to say how much she likes my class and thinks I'm funny.  Then she wrote this: I'm worried you think I dislike you because it feels like you don’t like me.

That was the exact moment my heart broke.  When I think about it, she's right.  Not that I don't like her....I do.  But that it probably feels like I don't.  Ugh.  That was really painful to type.  I get on her case about being late to class, about being out of dress code, about owning a pair of glasses.  But do I ever compliment her?  Do I ever ask how her day is?  Do I ever show an interest in this child other than to nag her?

Our opinions matter to these people.  I've made it a point to be more mindful about my actions toward the students.  Even though I felt terrible reading that message, I'm glad she wrote it.  I obviously needed that feedback and I would gather that she wasn't the only student feeling that way (sigh) but I can and will do better. 


  1. I do not think you understand how incredible your blog is. Earlier this week, I was informed that I would be teaching Algebra to high school students with IEPs. Because these are kids who have struggled with math for 9 years, I immediately started scouring the web for ideas on how to get these students to be more engaged. Luckily, I happened to find your blog. In the past two days, I have looked at every single one of your posts (I'd be lying if i said I read every word... but I found some incredible activities). Your ability to make math a game is truly special. Not only have you designed some incredibly engaging and educational games, your overall attitude is inspiring. It is easy to see that you care deeply about every one of your students and you are constantly striving to help them to become stronger and more confident. Next school year, you are going to have a significant and positive impact on 26 students who you will never meet. You have already had a significant impact on their teacher. I am willing to bet that you have inspired many teachers who in turn have helped thousands of students. This is no small feat. I hope you take the time to reflect on what you are doing and give yourself a huge gold star, or green marker, or survivor reward, or pirate coin, or maybe a nice glass of wine. Thank you!

    1. I don't even know what to say. Thank you very much for your kind words, you have made my day. Reading your comment reminds me of why I started this blog in the first place. I have been ignoring this little part of me for some time now, but am finding inspiration and motivation to keep adding to it. Thank you!!

    When you have (2x-4)/2, don't you have to divide both terms by 2?


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