As an adult I can appreciate the value of being smart and of being great at Math, unfortunately when you're in Junior High you're generally dubbed a nerd if you appreciate either of the above :) This is one of the reasons I'm so grateful to teach at MCA... most of the kids (definitely not all) really value their education and don't mind being singled out for academic achievements.
On Friday I took four of my Junior High students (the ones in the front row are my students, the four in the back are 4th and 5th graders) to compete in the ACSI Area Level Math Olympics at Prestonwood Christan Academy. Our school had about 30 students take a district level test back in November and these are the ones who qualified to advance. In between the tests and while other groups were testing there was A LOT of downtime which was fun because I got to just hang out with my kids and play cards, talk, etc.
Here's our whole group after awards. EVERY student from MCA either got excellent or superior ratings and two of my students placed! Brickman (in the navy sweatshirt with an 87 on it) got 3rd in his category and Tim (the freakishly tall kid in the middle - he's 13, by the way) got 2nd in his category. Yes, yes... I know that I look like I'm one of the students and not the school sponsor... the kids were all required to wear nametags and I got stopped several times by event coordinators and asked where my nametag was. I even put my hair down about halfway through the day to try and help, but it didn't help (and I ended up with hair as featured in the photo below) :) I couldn't be prouder of my students and can't wait to take EVEN more to this level of competition next year.