Thursday, April 12, 2018

KIM

    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.

35 comments:

  1. I love this story! It just shows that not everyone learns in the same way and that with determination there can be different roads to success.

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    1. You're right we each have our own learning style.

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  2. Book learning is not the only ingredient needed for success. And sometimes it's not in the picture at all. Good for Kim. I love this story!

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  3. What a wonderful success story! And I wish every school had classes like the one you offered, and all kids got the care Kim got from you.

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    1. Each of these characters were interesting but sometimes they were off the wall.

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  4. Oh my, that is a very interesting story about your student's interest and how it led to his successes in life.

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    1. It surprised me at what Kim achieved.

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  5. Success stories are always rewarding for a teacher.

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    1. Yes, we want kids to succeed.

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  6. Schooling doesn't always unearth talent. The channels we try to put young people in do not always match with their characters and hidden aspirations. Kim had a good teacher.

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    1. I prefer to look at the student and what they accomplished rather than what the teacher did.

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  7. Great story about someone whose life was completely different because you took him under your wing. Very inspiring, Red. :-)

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    1. Well, remember that these kids have had many wings to cover them. I was only one wing in the 12 years of public education

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  8. Always nice to hear when one of your students does well.

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  9. What a great story! You made a difference!! Yeah for teachers!! :)

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    1. Well, I always stop and remember that there are many teachers in every kid's life. I'm only one. Thanks for the yeah.

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  10. Nice story! I myself break out into a cold sweat just seeing the term "quadratic equation." Fortunately, like the moral of your story suggests, we don't all have to fit into the accepted, conventional definition of intelligence to have a successful career and a successful life.

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    1. There are many possibilities . The doors have to be open.

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  11. sometimes they act out when they know more than being taught or don't comprehend

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    1. Yes, there were lots of off the wall days.

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  12. What a great story! I always say a good teacher helps these kids find their way.

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    1. They need encouragement and and support and then a few options.

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  13. I wish I had you teaching me quadratic equations! I still remember the teacher I had for year 9 maths, she taught us the equation by putting it to a well known advertising ditty so I still remember it but I can't say it's interesting!

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    1. It may not have been interesting but I think many things taught open doors the rest of our life even though we might not realize it.

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  14. Hello, what a great success story. I am happy that Kim has done so well. I would think as a teacher, you are very proud of him. Enjoy your day and weekend!

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  15. You never know how they will do as adults. I taught 12th grade for 25 years and then middle school for 17. Of course it was the younger ones who most often surprised me the most as adults...:)

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  16. It's amazing how people develop their talents. I think it's especially hard for boys, particularly, to focus in a traditional classroom setting and go through step by methodical step to solve a problem. Boys do learn differently, and clearly Kim was pretty smart in his own way! (I'm not sure I could divide multiple-digit numbers, either -- at least not without a calculator!)

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  17. I am thankful to read he has not blown himself or someone else up!!

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  18. What a good success story! I always liked to hear disabled people called "differently abled" as a much kinder and more positive designation. All God's children got a place in the choir -- kids often need a little help finding their niche.

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  19. That is really exciting! I love this story.

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  20. Hi Red, What a story! Wow. Yes, this is one of the joys of teaching to find out that a student has become a big success. Kim had an unexpected way of putting things together. A great story!

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