My husband and I used to joke about an imaginary book series he would someday write. The cookbook would have three pages:
In January 2020, William Blair was promoted to the newly created position of Wellness Coordinator at the Mountain View Los Altos (MVLA) Union High School District in California, with high hopes and a deep sense of mission. For nearly a decade beforehand, Blair had served as a teacher, and had recently transitioned to district administrative work, eager to strengthen community within classrooms. He felt proud of his forward-thinking district for creating this new position to address social-emotional learning and school climate. And then ....the pandemic obliterated everyone's carefully laid plans.
Here's a conversation I've had multiple times with my students in response to art.
We have a love-hate relationship with math.
On February 2, 2021 NPR reported on the death of Anthony Orr. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Anthony missed all of the rites of passage that should have been the culmination of his senior year of high school. His parents said he seemed fine and happy, but in August of 2020, Anthony tragically took his own life.
As a student-teacher, I taught in a third-grade classroom with 35 students: six of whom had Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), five with 504 accommodations, and 12 who were English Language Learners (ELLs). I had no special education training, nor any knowledge of how to accommodate ELLs, but as a student teacher I knew that the student make-up of our classroom was unbalanced in comparison to the two other classrooms in our grade level. The other two classrooms had significantly less IEP, 504, and ELL students. I experienced firsthand how this inherent inequity made it challenging to meet the unique needs of these identified students.
I am a devoted follower of the late Sir Ken Robinson (may he rest in peace). Somewhere in his massive body of work he described math as a party to which many of us feel we have not been invited. Although I can't find the quote I have never forgotten it because I'm one of the people that got excluded from that guest list--or at least that's what I've always believed. I've gone along with the casual dogma of, "there are math people, and there are non-math people."