Saturday, April 23, 2011

Why Teaching Doesn't Get Easier

Last night a friend of our said to me," doesn't it just keep getting easier every year" (referring to my job). I know the answer is "No." I am working just as hard now as my first year but with a less anxiety about my incompetence. He also said "can't you just use the same stuff year after year." I said that I suppose I could but I don't. Sometimes I don't even use the same lesson in one day.

My job has also become more difficult in the last two years because I am teaching Science now, not just math.

I do look at my previous years lessons and tests but I almost always have to revise or totally redo. I also do any homework I assign. Not because I don't think I could do it (or explain it) but because I want to anticipate where they might have problems and think about how to ask good questions (so I'm not too helpful). I've been thinking about the "less helpful" thing a lot because I have really failed in that department over the years. I keep catching myself "doing the math for them." That's why I'm getting smarter and their getting "dumber."

SBG is also making me revise and redo things. This is not a bad thing at all. I had no idea how long it took kids to learn slope until I started SBG. I thought only bad teachers (not teachers like me) would pass  kids on from Algebra without knowing slope. Now I know that it takes about twice as long to teach that concept for the majority of the kids.

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