What I’ve been up to

First off: my new job.

It’s a year leave of absence, not a permanent position, so no need to swarm me with posts about losing a classroom teacher.

I am teaching a standard College Algebra and team-teaching (with Jan Wehr) a class entitled Data Analysis and Probability for K-8 Teachers. This is part of a program for K-8 teachers to get a Masters in Math Leadership; it is aimed at raising the essential skill level of teachers in their own mathematics so that their teaching will be improved. Hence, it’s not a workshop where they get classroom activities (although I know they have scarfed some) but rather a way for them to learn new mathematics.

My best lesson so far started with a video

Based solely on the number of wrecks, is there anything mystical going on in the Bermuda Triangle?

(They used NOAA data and concluded that it was safer inside the Triangle than outside. The “thousands” figure quoted in the video appears to be pure invention.)

Classroom management in the College Algebra class is downright surreal. You ask the students to do something and they just do it. Who would have thought? It’s a bizarre fantasy-land. I don’t get as much time to experiment with pedagogy (3 hours week isn’t enough to get too crazy) but it’s still nice to be able to focus specifically on their weaknesses of the curriculum (I’m used to one of my primary questions for any lesson being “will I be able to maintain classroom management?”).

I’m also “taking” a class (Theory of Statistics) but I’m taking it in a meta- sense and will be working up a presentation on pedagogical connections.

I also do have time (and resources!) to work on research, and the backlog on things I can blog about is getting enormous. I promise some interesting things ahead!

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2 Responses

  1. Cool about the job. And what a difference it makes when the students agree that they need the course (even if they don’t like it). There’s the maturity a few extra years bring, plus the people who really don’t want to be there, they’re not.

    Jonathan

  2. […] could truly know the answer (but we can get a pretty good idea anyway with mathematics). I’ve mentioned previously my favorite problem from teaching […]

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