Monday, January 13, 2014

A Compliment

I volunteered to attend a meeting after school today at our district office.  There's a suggestion out there that our district should switch from a traditional pathway to integrated math, and of course the reason given is Common Core.

Fewer than 20 math teachers from across the district attended this meeting--three of us were from my school, and there were at least two high schools that I don't think were represented at all.  Still, much to my surprise, the overwhelming agreement seemed to be to keep the traditional Algebra 1--Geometry--Algebra 2 pathway; several reasons were given for this, and spanned the gamut from practical to legal to pedagogical to financial.

I was talking to one of my school's teachers outside after the meeting had adjourned, and a few minutes later another participant walked up to join us.  We offered to move because we thought that might be her car we were blocking in there in the parking lot, but she said she'd come to speak to me specifically.

She mentioned how she not only liked what I had to say, but liked the way I got my points across.  She said several nice things for which I thanked her, and then she gave what is among the highest compliments one teacher can give to another:  I think I'd really enjoy being in your class.

That alone made going to the meeting worthwhile :-)


maxutils said...

That's great ... and I'm glad you were there to hold the correct line, as my son will be coming through. If you go to integrated math, you might as well welcome back CPM. Or, as I liked to refer to it while teaching it, anti-CPM. It's sad that we have school districts that are so administratively top-heavy that they feel the need to find solutions that don't work to problems that don't exist.

allen (in Michigan) said...

And if you work in one of those uncommon districts in which such a meeting has any effect on district policy, lucky you.

In most districts such a meeting would be comparable to one of those now-extinct kiddie car seats that had a little steering wheel and a horn button - you might decide to turn this way or that, and you had a steering wheel with which to implement your decision but you really didn't control the direction of things. You just had the illusion that you had some input to the process.

maxutils said...

allen ... I'm reminded of the textbook adoption committee i served on, for economics ... we had a fantastically written textbook that could be used for both AP and regular, depending on depth, that both I and our school's other teacher both loved. We were the two votes for ... the other schools voted for a completely horrible no -theory - having book ... Why? Because ours had math, and graphs in it. The teachers didn't think they could handle teaching it. Literally true.