Justin Lanier gave a fun, beautiful, challenging, and useful talk at the Global Math Department on Tuesday. His talk centered around teacher’s views of mathematics and how they can affect their student’s views. Please take sometime to watch Justin’s presentation. It’ll make the rest of this post make much more sense! Or at least visit Justin’s blog where he issues a call to action.
I took Justin’s call to action and gave a google survey to my colleagues. I sent it in an email to every staff member at my school. This included administrators, math teachers, non-math teachers, related service providers, para-professionals, etc. In other words EVERY staff member at my school had the opportunity to answer Justin’s question.
This is what happened…
What follows is a piece I wrote as an assignment from Justin Lanier‘s smOOC called “Math is Personal.” If you are just starting out as a math teacher or are a seasoned vet, I highly recommend participating in Justin’s course. You will think more about your personal views about learning, teaching and mathematics than you normally allow yourself during the school year.
So here goes…
This is the story of a boy. This boy loved reading and writing. He loved reading books from “Goosebumps” to “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” to “Of Mice and Men”. He read and he wrote as much as he could. When things were good, he wrote about them. When things were bad, he wrote about them. One day in sixth grade, he had gotten mugged on the way to school and he told his teacher about it. His teacher told him to write about it. So he did, and it made him feel better. Writing was his life and as he grew older it became more and more important to him.