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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Teaching Well: Getting to the Root of the Problem

I've experienced a teaching storm this fall. I started the year with a magnificent plan only to find out that I am expected to fit my teaching into a prescribed parameter, a parameter much tighter and more linear than the teaching I typically do. In many ways this is like trying to fit a cloud into a box--clouds don't fit into boxes as clouds are amorphous while boxes are defined.

I have always used the math standards as a guideline, a positive framework for the math teaching program, but I've never taught in a tightly scripted way. I have never been a fan of tight curriculum programs, and instead support more creative, responsive approaches to teaching the standards.

These new parameters have created disruption to my plans and approach. I find myself teaching in a ways that's uncomfortable and doesn't feel right. It's like wearing clothes that don't fit. Yet, that's the charge I've been given.

At first as the rules were imposed I got upset and defensive. Then I tried to follow as well as I could. After that I finally reached greater understanding of what was going on--understanding I voiced in a plea today. Simply getting to the root of the issue, what I am truly experiencing, has freed me.

I've expressed my beliefs, needs, and interests. I'll wait for a reply.

In the meantime, I'll follow the directives set to the best of my ability.

Simply getting to the root of the issue has led to quieting the storm. For this I am grateful.