As many of you know I often start a post with, I was a middle school teacher for 37 years. Then you know you are going to get a school story.
My favorite classes to teach were what we called a modified class. This would be a group of students who were not having success in a regular program so I would modify the program so that some of these kids could have some success.
So I would get somewhere between 10 and 15 kids for math and language arts. In language arts I would emphasize reading rather than literature. In math I would go back to a level that they had achieved and work from there.
In one of the gr 9 classes I had Kim. I knew Kim before he came to middle school. He was a little tough kid and had not done well in school.
In math I found out Kim did not know his time tables beyond 5 times. We worked on basic time tables. Kim was the kind of kid that when he understood something there was a big smile and the eyes lit up. The eyes lit up with times tables. Kim could not divide with 2 place divisors. I always taught quadratic equations to my regular gr. nines. I decided, "Why not show these guys quadratic equations. Surprise, surprise They were interested in equations. Some of them got quadratic equations and asked more about them. Kim was curious about equations and yes the light was on showing that he understood them.
Now another side of Kim is that he had bombs on the brain. His imagination quite often lead to how something could be used for bombs. He wondered if quadratic equations could lead to bombs.
What I saw is that Kim had lots of creativity and was willing to learn but he had just got too far behind to ever get in a regular program again.
So Kim went on to high school and was in a program that allowed him to finish high school.
My predictions for success? Not much.
So awhile after high school I heard about a project to monitor gas wells by remote. Well, guess whose idea this was and who developed it? Why of course, it was Kim.
Kim went on to start a gas well servicing company. He was looking for $800000.00 dollars to start his company. The company did get off the ground and was successful and branched off into other areas.
Now I hope Kim found a good accountant as I'm not too sure how well he could deal with these numbers.
And yes, a while later somebody was applying for a license to store dynamite. Guess who? Kim of course!
So it's been cool to watch this little guy become successful by using his creativity.