May Update

Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve last updated. The reality is since I’ve finished my practicum I’ve been busy with other things and haven’t been thinking too much about it, or about teaching for that matter.

I want to keep writing, so I plan on adding a blogroll shortly and I also plan on giving the blog a new look and feel. Since I’m not in the classroom teaching myself at the moment, for the next while, I think I might shift focus from this blog being mostly about my own self-reflection to being more of a promoter of all the great  educationalists and stuff out there in the blogging world and on the internet.

Happy May Two Four!

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More Bad News Teacher Cuts

Halifax school board cuts 152 teaching positions

Part of me tries to block news like this out, but it still makes me anxious. It’s a very tough market for a new teacher starting a career, particularly someone like me who is a late starter. It’s the way the dice rolls, I guess.

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How Canada is faring

Source: http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/details/education.aspx#measure

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Practicum Week 14 & 15 (Final)

My practicum is now all over but the crying. Now it’s time for the hardest part, getting a job.

My last two weeks went by very smoothly. So smoothly, that I left with heavy nostalgia on Friday. I love teaching. I love talking about teaching. I love the routine of a classroom schedule. I love challenging myself to learn more, and to be a better teacher. I love confronting my assumptions about how I understand what I’m teaching and how it differs from how my students understand it.  I love helping young people make deep connections and develop confidence.

Continue reading

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Math Education CBC Cross-Country Checkup (Follow-up)

This is a follow-up to this post.  The full two-hour radio episode  can be downloaded here.

First off, a bit of a funny story. The high school math teacher interviewed by Rex in the podcast happens to be my cooperating teacher!! I had no idea this was going to be the case when I blogged about the show last week.  In fact, I didn’t know about it until today when some teachers were talking about the episode at work, however, I hadn’t listened to the episode yet. I actually didn’t plan to listen to it until next week when I had more time, but after learning that my co-operating teacher was interviewed, I took the time to listen to it today.

The show was a bit repetitive but I got through it. Right now, I don’t want to wade into the debate around best pedagogical practices, but one thing that comes across to me is that math education is a passionate topic.  For many, perhaps most people, it’s a reminder of personal anxiety and failure, and helplessness with their own struggling children.

I’m starting to think the debate about standard algorithms versus concepts might be a sideshow to the real question, which is how do you reduce anxiety surrounding math and still teach it? The answer I and everyone else doesn’t want to hear, but might be unavoidable, is that math is a brutally unforgiving subject, and that’s just the way it is.

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Math Education to be Featured on CBC Cross Country Checkup

Rex Murphy is going to take a crack at math education in Canada this Sunday on  CBC Cross Country Check-up .  (Hat tip: WISE math).

I’m always interested in what Rex has to say, because of his flair, if nothing else, so I’ll be giving this a listen.

Is there something wrong with how math is taught in Canadian schools?

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The ironies of life

About the time I knew I was quitting my job to go back to school, I was passing by a business hotel by my workplace. Despite not doing any business traveling myself in the current position I was in, I still was almost nostalgic about it. My days of corporate travel are over, I thought, at least for a long time. No more little chocolates on my pillows,  car rentals,, flight delays, chain restaurant food, and expense claims.

So it was with a tad irony that last summer, almost exactly one year later,  my part-time job sent me up to Halifax for training and they set me up in the exact same hotel! Now I’m going back up again this week (and missing two teaching days because of it).  It’s not the same hotel, but still, this is actually two business trips more than I made in the nearly three years I had worked at my last job.

Apparently teachers travel too, a bit. One teacher in my department recently came back from a conference in San Francisco.  This shocked me for some reason. I figured yeah, teaching is a profession and there is going to be PD, but I thought it would be more localized. I still think that’s true, but there are more exceptions to that than I expected.

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