If you are a parent, a student, or an educator with concerns about mathematics education, you might want to consider the views expressed here. I am encouraged by what has happened in my classroom in the past few years, and I would like to share my positive impressions with you.
I am in my twenty-fifth year of teaching. All that time has been spent teaching mathematics to students at the middle school level. Word is out there that these are the toughest kids to teach in all the world, but that has not been my experience. I am rewarded constantly for my efforts by my students. It's not that they tell me daily what a great teacher I am. That would be totally "uncool" and would put me on the defensive immediately, anyway They tell me in a variety of other ways. The most important of these is by their performance. I can honestly tell you that my students are asked to do things and understand concepts in mathematics that I had no experience with until I got to college (some concepts, in fact, I didn't see even in college). They are up to the task. I would like folks to understand up front that I love teaching, I feel positive about my job in a public school, the students I encounter there, and the job done by most of these students and their parents, and that I feel the public has a mistaken image about a great deal of what is going on presently in education. Good news doesn't sell newspapers, folks. You know it, and I know it.
Okay, enough of the up-front stuff. Here is what I would like to accomplish
with this page. I would like to provide my visitors with a forum for the questions
and opinions they have. The changes in mathematics instruction recently have
generated many questions and much anxiety for parents of many middle school
students. I would like to share my opinions with you and hear your opinions
in return. I am not a cognitive scientist, or a psychologist. My perspective
is that of a teacher and parent. I suspect that what I want to share with the
parents of middle school students most of all is reassurance. Things
will work out okay. It is not as bad as it seems. Your child has not suddenly
gone bonkers, and neither have you!