My Program Director Master of Teacher Leadership Development Teach for America mentor guy Nate has us doing some soul-searching and visioning for our classrooms. It's refreshing and inspiring- a far cry from last year, where I felt like I was searching for perfect systems, rushing to hit objectives on time, and lowering the bar for my kids and I.
Today I decided that if my kids only remember two things about my class, I want them to be:
1) Problems need to be solved, you have the tools you need to solve them, and time's a wastin. Why? Because life is made of problems, and the more you solve, the better you get.
2) To master anything, you need to practice it a lot.
These two mindsets matter more to me than the Algebra curriculum- if they internalize both of them, they will be set up for success with any teacher down the road, in any subject.
Below are good but not critical mindsets:
"Math is fun"
"Mr. Shackelford is a good teacher"
"I'm good at math"
"I will use my Algebra skills later in life."
Yeah, I'd like my kids to have them, but if I have a class of problem-solvers who know the value of practice, their attitudes toward math and school will turn around just fine.