A veteran teacher turned coach shadows 2 students for 2 days – a sobering lesson learned
After having read the article, I feel my school is very similar to his experience when he shadowed a student at his school. Unfortunately the school that I am currently teaching at is still traditional, so the students spend most of the class sitting and passively listening to me talk at them. Luckily my students are amazing and are willing to listen to me talk for an hour and half, but that wouldn’t fly with the students I had the first semester. The classroom I was in the first semester was introducing common core material, so they was very little lecturing and mostly exploring and playing with concepts. I am introducing this to my current students and trying to get them to explore concepts more. Spend less time actually talking at them and more time for them to discuss and explore. I also found that when student spend less time listening and more time exploring/discussing there was less behavior issues. So I didn’t have to be such a nuisance to my student as the author describes. Just a few thoughts jotted down. I really love my school and the people there, I just hate lecturing.
Redefining Teachers with a 21st Century Education ‘Story’
“If you’re a teacher, you have placed yourself in the most enviable, challenging, fulfilling role possible in the 21stcentury”
I cannot agree with this quote more. I honestly thought that teaching would be some-what easy, I was completely wrong! It is such a challenging role. Everyday is different, some students can be having an awesome day and be actively engaged in the activities for that day, or they can be having the worst day and are the cause so many problems. Its hard to manage 30 - 40 individuals for six hours everyday. At the end of the day, wether it was a good day or a bad one, teaching these students something new is worth it.
‘Smart’ these days includes grit, resiliency, empathy, curiosity, openness, creativity, and evaluative thinking.
I completely agree, the thing I’m struggling with is how to teach my students these traits. Evaluative thinking is something that comes easy when working on mathematical topics but empathy and creativity are something that really lurk in the background. I need help to teach my students how to create and be empathetic within my classroom. As of right now, my biggest tool is the way in which I question my students. I use this to help fuel the thought processes that improve what is considered smart these days.
Wagner suggest that students have the “desire to multitask and be constantly connected to the net” which I completely agree with. Today all of the students are interconnected through facebook, instagram and other social media that they become experts and using all these different social outlets. The way these students have grown up, they use technology and the internet as a resource and learning tool. Wagner states “the use of the Internet and other digital technology has transformed both what young people learn today and how they learn”, and we need to use that tech to help create a more meaningful learning environment.
The text also suggest that “Schools need to focus more on projects and the inquiry method. They need to engage students with passion.” I could not agree more. Students will learn best if they come up with their own solutions to problems and methods. If they can create and explore mathematical ideas, they can come up with their own ideas and make sense of the math. Learning this way provides a deeper understanding of the content.
If I had to choose a school to teach at, it would be the Met. The reason why is because “Instead of having students take classes and maybe eventually figuring out what their interests are, we start with helping every student to find their interest and then build a
learning plan around it.” I love this idea to let students explore and figure out what it is they are interested in. I feel that too many schools are just producing carbon copy students who all take the same courses to get into college. Then once in college the student is supposed to make a decision that will affect them for the rest of their life, or waste a lot of time and money when they decide to change their major ( I had several friends change their majors multiple times ). By giving students that choice in what they want to take, They are tailoring the learning to meet their needs and also provide more meaning to what it is that is being taught to them in school.
“Given enough time, you might have figured them out—but in tests like these, there is a premium on answering as many questions as quickly as possible”
I know that feeling of not having enough time to figure out the problems that are assigned on a test. When I first took the SAT I ran out of time on the math portion of the test. I thought that I knew enough math to do very well on the test and score really high, but I just didn’t have enough time to finish. I feel that a lot of my students also have the same feeling when they take tests in my classroom. Honestly I don’t want to be testing root memorization, I want my students to have the ability to figure out the problems and not just memorize a strategy to solve the problems. I want my tests (math tests) to be more focused on problem-solving and using what students know and applying that knowledge to solve problems that may not have been seen before. I also feel that if a student doesn’t do good on a test they should be able to retake the test after they do some more preparation and retake the test to show me that they now know that material/content.
“This system is shaped by obsolete notions of academic rigor and by political and financial considerations”
The idea that a test is the end-all deciding factor for whether or not the students know the content that is being taught is outrageous. There is so much more that students should be learning inside the classroom to be successful outside of the classroom. I hope that my tests can help my students see the value of collaboration, problem-solving and asking good questions both inside and outside the classroom.
I want to start this chapter with a quote from the book, There is “no standards for what is effective teaching or leadership” is.
This idea that there is no way in which the teaching has a standard that everybody must reach, or at least strive to be is a theme of this chapter. Other professions have standards for the way in which the profession is practiced, however teaching is not one of those professions. I feel teaching is one of those professions where everyone looks at you with a microscope, and analyzes everything that you do. There are expectations, however most of these expectations are not stated and I feel clueless to what is expected from my teaching day to day. All of the classes that I’m taking all give me ideas on what is expected from me day to day, but it now that I’m pretty far along I feel completely overwhelmed with what I should be doing while I teach. I hope that I’m meeting the expectations of my cooperating teacher and am teaching the material up to his standards.
“The experiences of these top school systems suggests that three things matter:1) getting the right people to become teachers, 2) developing them into effective instructors, and 3) ensuring that the system is able to deliver the best possible instruction for every child.”
This idea was posed in the book at the end of chapter. The idea of not only finding the people who will be good educators and then developing them to become better is an excellent. I wonder if I am one of those right people? I know I still have a lot to improve but hopefully I can get there one day!
Wagner, T. (2008). The global achievement gap: Why even our best schools don't teach the new survival skills our children need--and what we can do about it. New York: Basic Books.
Visual Math - Multiplication