It was a 5th grade math class. I am there to help two special education students who are in a regular classroom setting but need help with staying on task. The teacher asked me to help the two students with the math assignment. Then she continued her math lesson with all the other students in the classroom. I walked into this math lesson cold turkey. I had no preparation or review time. I didn’t have in my possession the teacher’s answer book. Not that having the answers would have helped all that much. It’s one thing to know the answers; it’s another to know the steps of how to arrive at the answers.
A diagram was on the board. It was a coordinate grid. I only knew that because that’s what it said on their worksheet. I had seen one of these grids before in one of my earlier lives. HA! Now I only had 15 minutes with them. Well, that was 14 minutes too long. I was saved from utter embarrassment only because one of the two students knew more about coordinates than the other one.
A moment etched in my memory was when the one who was more or less clueless about the grid said to me, “Ms…., I need help.” I didn’t say this since I didn’t want to admit my grid ignorance; I only thought: “You and me both kid!”