Tuesday, March 05, 2013

One of those moments…

Some people think I’m crazy because I voluntarily do lunch duty quite often.  I originally got in the habit when I taught at a school with a severely fractured faculty and I simply got tired of eating lunch in the middle of a battle zone.  Since then I have parlayed this habit into a whole bunch of perks, one of which is getting to know my students in a more relaxed atmosphere.

The other day one of my students from last year called me over to the table he and his friends were eating at to ask me a question.  I don’t remember the question, but after I answered it another student commented that she didn’t understand why she now had to learn how to measure angles in Radians, rather than just continuing to use the old 360° in a circle system.  I sat down and started to explain how 360 is an arbitrary number that someone just made up, but since the circumference of a circle is naturally 2πr, then (using a radius of 1) 2π is a natural measurement around a circle.

Details aside, this sparked a 10 minute conversation where the five of us discussed the benefits of a natural method of measuring angles versus the old random one.

There was not going to be a test on it.   They were free to get up and leave at any time, or even to ask me to leave.  Yet they were interested, engaged, curious and appreciative of my time.  And this wasn’t even your standard Math-nerd group, one of them is this year’s 9th grade district wrestling champion.

Like the title says:  that was one of those moments.

4 comments:

Alexia said...

Great feeling, isn't it?
This year we have instituted a 90-minute first period. Many staff(including me, I admit) and nearly all of the students moaned and groaned at the idea. Today I had my senior Advanced English class first period and when the bell rang at 11.00 am one guy said, "Wow - that went so fast. What a great English period!"
These moments make it all worth while, don't they Max :)

Max Sartin said...

Absolutely.

Lisa Shafer said...

Great story, Max. And it takes a great teacher, one devoted to both the subject AND to teaching, to snatch onto such a moment and sift in the learning in such away that the kids don't even realize they're being taught. Well done, you.

Karen S. said...

It's all THOSE special moments that last a lifetime in our hearts!