From the MOV to Milwaukee

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Dec 03 2012

Temple Geometry

I do forget sometimes that people read this.


This Wednesday, my students will be embarking on a proofing adventure.  I’m going to set the scene with some East Asian music and we’re going to work through a proof.  A real one.  It’s going to be hard.  But so, SO great.

I’ve realized (or I always knew) that the biggest excitement that I get over teaching is that I get to teach math.  I know, I know… I’m teaching children, not just the subject.  But there’s something about the fundamental inequities in mathematics education and the tremendous potential that students who receive a proper math education are privy to that are just astounding.

Teach for America, and the accountability movement in general, like to boil things down to the “numbers”.  Its why my school and other schools align to the ACT College Readiness Standards–because students who do well on the ACT do well in college.  Now, my allegiance to this system will not be discussed today.  There’s a bigger number that I want to talk about.

That, my friends, is calculus.  And the undeniable correlation between students who complete calculus and students who complete a 4 year degree.  Math is the key.  GOOD math is the key.

I want to shout this from the mountaintops.  A mathematics curriculum rich in problem solving, proofs, justification, and independent learning is what will make or break college success for my kids.  This is what i want for Christmas.

And while I can’t give them that, I can give them an exercise in proofs.  A little taste of what their lives would be like daily if they went to a suburban school.  And I know its only just one step, but I’m learning quickly that step-by-step is the only way things ever progress in the world of education.

Short post this time around.  Sorry, beloved fans.

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