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Lucas: Advances in Algebra

By Lucas Kauzlarich, AmeriCorps Promise Fellow serving at Minneapolis South High School through the Check & Connect program

“One day, during sixth hour, one of my students decided to skip his algebra class, because he did not feel prepared for a test. He retreated into my office and avoided all conversations pertaining to his math class. As a caring adult, I encouraged him to attempt the test, because it would allow him and his teacher to see where he needed to improve. His math teacher allowed retakes, so there was no penalty in trying. Additionally, I told my student that he could take the test in my office.

Unfortunately, when we asked his teacher, he raised his voice at my student and did not allow him to take the test in my office. My student looked at me with an expression of hurt as he entered the classroom. Thankfully, my student’s teacher allowed me to sit with him while he took the test.

While I was sitting there, I felt so uncomfortable, because I made my student a false promise. After that test, I thought my student would never come into my office again, but this was not the case. His algebra teacher and I began to work closely with one another; we came up with a plan to help my student achieve success. I started to help my student with algebra homework, regularly, and I sat in some of his classes as well. I bridged a strong connection with my student, and he became more comfortable with algebra.

Then, one day, after I sent an email to his algebra teacher, his teacher replied, ‘You have definitely had a positive impact on his academic effort. I appreciate your dedication and commitment to helping him navigate this difficult journey.’ This email reminded me of the positive impact that I am leaving behind as an AmeriCorps Promise Fellow.”

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