Comment 104223

By HamiltonBrian (registered) | Posted August 29, 2014 at 14:41:23 in reply to Comment 104186

Kevin, let me first say, as a teacher with HWDSB, I agree with your comment regarding the actions of the hierarchy sending the message that they "don't give a crap." I don't think it is as simple as that, BUT, I do feel that most trustees and upper management have operated in a very short-sighted manner. As soon as the board turfed the proposal to work with the city in finding a better-suited location for the Board of Ed building (...why not rent the vacant space down in Jackson Square/Stelco?) I fired off a letter to Judith Bishop. I concluded by letting her know I would actively campaign so that she would not retain that trustee position. Thankfully, she has decided not to run again, and I think there are potentially good candidates to take her place. But Judith, obviously, is one person on that council.

Regarding your acquaintance that wants to get a job at the board office...shame on her. There a lot of members in my profession who have decided to mail it in, check out, etc. Those of us that bust our asses to be the best teachers we can be for a group of students/school each year, have to endure the public backlash as a result of our "checked-out" colleagues.

Anyway, I will take exception to "Discovery Math." This is actually the first time I've heard it called that. The trend in education, and you may argue against it, is to teach students not what the right answer is, but how to arrive at "answers," look for alternative possibilities, and be able to justify decisions. Numeracy/Math seems like it should be all about the "correct answer." I don't want to get into a long pedantic screed on why I feel that "problem-solving" is a suitable way to teach mathematical thinking. The frustration, as a parent, is that it is the simple operations that children lack the comfort with. I get that. And that's why there needs to be a balance in instruction. Teach multiple pathways to arrive at an answer, develop a sense of what's right for "you" at that particular time, then abandon it when an even more efficient/accurate strategy presents itself. As a teacher, I defend "discovery," but the message that hasn't been widely spread is "balance it."

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