Such Excitement! Foster Elementary was buzzing with energy from 100+ students on May 18 as Governor John Hickenlooper signed our bill into law! It is such an amazing feeling that our idea for a STEM […]
Digital vs. Analog
Many of my colleagues in the field believe Every Student Stem. By upbringing and by trade, I am not a programmer. A gamer-at-heart perhaps, but not a programmer. Yet I believe in that mantra as well.
It is silly for us to view today’s student as anything but a ‘STEM’ student. As a parent I often times find myself comparing my 4-year-old’s vocabulary to mine at his age. His frequent use of the terms profile and wi-fi astound me. When he fires up our XBOX 360, I must ask him to make sure he signed out of his brother’s profile and signed in with his own in order to avoid deleting anything.
My parents never said those kinds of things to me. We didn’t connect around Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo or King’s Quest on our Tandy 1000. I spent my childhood on a bridge between analog world and digital world – a bridge that my parents saw no use in crossing. A bridge that many saw no use in crossing.
Ground Control to Major Tom
I am now in my sixteenth year at ground level in education. Although I always try to view things from above, the fact remains that I am knee-deep in the field. What the Marines might affectionately refer to as…well…you know.
10,000 feet above gives me a lot of perspective but below is where reality settles in. Above is where the problems are really visible. Below is where the problems are really really visible. Below is where you get to speak with the students and the teachers and the administrators and the parents and begin to see the problem from their perspective.
Something’s Gotta Give
Educators abound spend 90% of their time prepping students for state exams, and the other half of their time is spent complaining about them (my apologies to Yogi Berra).
The main complaint from teachers (and parents, and some legislators, and…) is that state exams zap too much valuable instructional time. The time spent in testing sessions is draining to students and ultimately results in a loss of class time.
The bigger argument against the way we mass assess our students (and the one that goes largely unvoiced) is that it does relatively little to prepare students for life and their future ahead.
Would you rather…
Let’s play a game of Would You Rather? Here we go…
If you were an employer in charge of hiring new employees, would you rather have candidates capable of answering questions OR candidates capable of solving problems?
Dear Students —
I want you to know how glad I am to be your math teacher and how happy I am that you are in my class. #Truth. For real. No lies.