This post (and hopefully maybe the next few) are my attempt to communicate to you the real reasons why I’m here – the barriers my kids face in their academic journey that are wholly beyond their control. This is beyond the teenage pregnancies, the gangs, the absent parents, or other external factors.
I teach juniors Algebra I. My students and I are unable to figure out why, in the third year of high school, and some their fourth, they are taking Algebra I. I can’t find a satisfactory answer. I’ve been told it is because they, “didn’t take the EOC freshman year.” Every time I ask why the only consistent answer I receive is, “I don’t know.”
They ask me what math they’re supposed to be in right now. What math did I take my junior year? They ask me what happened, why they’re off their academic path, or if this will affect their futures. I don’t have answers.
I tell them I don’t know. I don’t know what happened. I don’t know how to fix it. I know this means that they’re behind. I know this isn’t how it’s supposed to work. And I know I will do my best to make sure it doesn’t hinder their opportunities in the future.