Vito Prosciutto: Teaching community college math on the road to a PhD.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Those who can't do, teach. Those who can't teach administrate. Those who can't administrate consult. 

I managed to get a 2-day job (paying rather well, as it turns out), doing some NCLB teacher training. During the training part of this, I realized that most of the other teams would be facing disaster based on the condescending way that they talked about the teachers that they'd be teaching. Apparently they didn't realize that while there are bad teachers in the large urban school district that we'd be training, none of them would be giving up a Saturday (even if paid and receiving professional development hours) to train to teach after school or Saturday supplementary classes.

Or it might not be too bad. My partner who did most of the first part of the training avoided being condescending with the teachers (although it was amusing to myself and to the classroom teachers to see how amazed he seemed to be by the wrap-around teacher's edition that the test prep company doing this had prepared. He apparently was unaware that nearly all K-12 textbooks have teacher's editions in this format.

It was great fun doing the teacher training and giving the teachers a chance to prepare and demonstrate lessons from the materials. I'd definitely like to do more of this.

And having been reading (and participating in) the discussion here, then seeing teachers, one observation: There was really no sign among these teachers at least, of the low performance mindset that seems awfully common in a lot of ed school prep programs, particularly at the K-8 level. I suspect that while these people may be in the classes, very few of them make it into the workforce. Or at least not the 6-8 workforce. There was one discussion about probability during the break that reflected a good understanding not only of how probability works but also how to teach it.

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