Thursday, December 23, 2010

My First Class

Yesterday I went to the Parkville High at 2600 Putty Hill Avenue to talk to 26 of 9th graders (14 years old) on "Achievement Counts".  This is a volunteer work through McCormick.  My mission is to teach these kids about their transcripts count; setting goals; the relationship between salary and expenses (can you afford it); and Maryland Scholar. Maryland Scholar is a program that a student must have a GPA.  When a kid studies hard, and meet the criteria to become a Maryland Scholar, he or she can have a better chance with college or job applications.

I tried to engage the kids.  I guess it's always the case, you win some and lose some.  As long as that I can make a positive impact on one kid, it would be worth it!  According to the feedback, all together 22 of them, 10 marked me as "exceptional", 7 marked "good", 4 did not mark anything, and 1 marked "not helpful".  I guess I did okay.

One kid, Rachael Baxter, asked if I would remember them. Before I could answer, their teacher, Mr. Miller said that "Rachael, please don't make Ms. Huang lie".  I told Rachael that I would wish them all to be successful in life, as an older person telling the younger persons.  And I really meant it, even though I know some of them likely will not be too successful.

I also remember this young black student , Elijan Woantee, as a very nice young man.  He knows his stuff and wants to do well.  I would definitely wish Elijan be successful with his life.  I just wish that his teacher would give him more encouragement. Mr. Miller strikes me as such a frustrated middle aged man who simply lost patience with all the kids he has to deal with everyday.    Obviously he does not see teaching as a calling.  The first thing he told me when we met was "This is a rowdy class". I just did not see the kindness in him that  I had experienced with my teachers when I went to school in Taiwan.  Such a pity.

I asked to take a picture of the students.  And of course some were very happy to pose for the picture, and some were not interested at all.  That's okay.

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