I sort of fell down on the job this cycle, and am scrambling for my contribution to the newsletter. I went to my Wordpress reader; even though I receive many of these posts by email, I hoped to find a recurrent and relevant theme to guide my blog-reading recommendation. I was not disappointed - the MTBoS is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Several posts addressing educational issues and policy caught my eye.
The first post that caught my eye, and one you should definitely read is Matt Vaudrey's Taxes and Nobility in Education
. Matt addresses the pro-con Teachers Pay Teachers debate, and carefully considers both sides, noting that Teachers Pay Teachers vendors are hard-working and creative people, such as yourselves, dear readers. What side does the incomparable Mr. Vaudrey
land on? Go read.
I recently began following the blog Saving School Math
by Howard Phillips, and he linked to a September article in The Atlantic, entitled The Coddling of the American Mind
. This lengthy
and provocative article analyzes - in depth, as the The Atlantic usually does - the deleterious effect of ultra-sensitivity to microaggressions may be having on American college campuses. I gave this article a quick read first time through, and it raised many questions in my own mind, such as how this might be playing out in my own school and classroom, and why, if we are becoming so sensitive and trying to create uber safe spaces, is gun violence in schools horrifyingly on the rise. I'm sure you will have questions of your own; this article provides A LOT to think about.
If you are looking for more big classroom issues to think about, try Picture Yourself as a Stereotypical Male
over at the MIT Admissions website (this was another hyperlink from Howard Phillips's blog), or a discussion about introducing race into classroom conversations over atCrawling Out of the Classroom
. This last blog is not a math teacher's blog, but the thoughtful exploration of how a teacher overcomes her own fear of confronting the issue with her students may resonate for you on some levels; it did for me.
The last post I want to mention is not specifically issue-oriented, but relevant, I think - Mathy McMatherson has been writing about the goings-on in his classroom this year, with a focus on his accommodations for ELL students, and their interesting results. Daniel Schneider
(no, his real name is not
Mathy) has a great opportunity this year to completely tailor his instruction to the needs of these students, and all of us who teach English Language Learners can benefit from his generosity and insight.
Cheers - Wendy Menard @wmukluk