What She Wore: Two-tone orange stripe polo with three-quarter-length sleeves; denim a-line skirt, orange strappy shoes with a a kitten heel.
Being any kind of teacher comes with it’s fair share of issues. Today, I came head-to-head with a few of them. We had some consultants come and talk with the math department today. Consultants are these gurus who have TONS of experience and usually they test-drive ideas and techniques in classrooms around the country. My school is directly linked with a particular group of consultants and I LOVE when they come. Makes my entire day. But there are these issues that crop up when a bunch of passionate people get together.
- What do you do about calculators? Previously, Mr. K and I have been stictly anti-calculator. Our kids struggle with all the basic functions: addition, multiplication, division, and subtraction. We think they need to learn to do it. We give them calculators if the math is complex, but they’re not available all the time. The consultant and one of the other math teacher advocated for more calculator use. Their rationale? Kids aren’t being tested on the the four basic functions in middle school–they need to do more. No point teaching them things they won’t be tested on. Second, not letting kids use calculators means that they aren’t used to using one. This can slow them down when they get to those big tests. What’s a girl to do? Give them the calculators or not?
- What’s more important, math or reading? Both are basic skills. Our school is focusing on literacy this year. Unfortunately, that means that math is sort of getting the back burner this year. If we tutor kids in math, it’s usually because we’re pulling them out of silent reading time. Is one more valuable than the other? It seems like the answer is no, but we still have to choose.
Remember when all the answers were easy?