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Teacher Appreciation: Sometimes one can be grateful for humiliation

Joined: 5/16/2015
Posts: 1
“Justin, if only you had done homework, I would have no problems about putting you in GPS or even Algebra 2, but you didn’t” My teacher spoke in a loud voice turning all other student’s heads to stare at me. Disappointed, I slowly strutted back to my seat as if word spoken had turned into lead weights dragging my steps. Arriving at my seat, I look back at the paper in my hand; it was the same line I had seen before, “I recommend Justin Yoo to join the regular Geometry class.”
My middle school has a very strong math curriculum offering classes up to Algebra 2 and even allowing a student to take two math courses in one year. Another special part about the math curriculum for my school is a class called GPS. This class is a special class of Geometry Honors, which includes a unit called problem solving. In this unit, instead of looking at a unit in the textbook, my teacher brings sets of questions that he found in old math competitions and these questions are taken as quizzes in the grade book. As these two courses are both challenging, a recommendation from Algebra 1 teacher is needed to take the course, and being in a math oriented community with most of my friends enjoying solving math questions, getting into GPS or Algebra 2 was an important goal in my life.
For the first semester of my school, I had been a very diligent student, studying for all tests, and diligently working through large pile of homework, which reflected in the grades I received, getting good scores on tests and quizzes. I even participated in class at every opportunity I could find, answering the teacher’s questions and showing that I was interested in coming to school and taking the class. However, one time when took a test and received a good grade on it without studying, I had started to feel confident on my abilities with math and stopped studying and doing homework. I was confident that I would be able to be recommended for GPS or Algebra 2 and thought to myself that I would start doing homework once I needed to.
Back to the present, after I had overcome the humiliation from the incident and returned home, I reflected on how I had been acting the past two quarters. I realized the reason that my teacher had not recommended me to GPS was because I had become too complacent and I would have failed the more advanced class due to my poor work ethics if I had gotten in. After realizing this, my seeming hate towards my teacher turned into respect for him and I decided to change as I went into 8th grade. I started doing my homework again, and worked hard like I had at the beginning of middle school, and after the first quarter of hard working, I was able to move to GPS class with the my teacher’s recommendation. This had been a valuable experience of my life, and now I am glad that my teacher had called me out in front of the class allowing me to change myself during Middle school. After all, without his intervention, I would have certainly done badly in high school.
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