- Paperback: 170 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2 edition (December 13, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1494273209
- ISBN-13: 978-1494273200
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,101,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Letters to a Young Math Teacher Paperback – December 13, 2013
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In 20 engaging letters Rising and Patenaude deal with persisting issues teachers face in learning to hone their craft. What the authors have produced is worthy of lines from Alexander Pope's Essay on Criticism.
"True Wit is Nature to advantage dress'd
What oft was though but ne-er so well express'd."
Realistically sketching the `Downside' and `Upside" of one's first teaching year Letter Two concludes, "of course you will make mistakes, of course things will go wrong, but you will have plenty of opportunities to make up for those errors." The following are a few of the many important facets the authors invitationally cover.
1) A valuable, substantive content frame for teaching mathematics with appendices providing neophyte math teachers an array of effective classroom instructional activities.
2) A detailed presentation on discipline including specifics beyond the blasé platitudes so often given beginning teachers
2) The need for teacher to rethink testing is broadly and specifically considered in light of how high-stakes testing and national core curriculum standards impact classroom teaching.
3) The importance of developing a personally genuine teaching style based on the persisting importance of instructional planning
4) A cogent discusses what Technology can and cannot do in teaching classified into necessary and supplemental categories as a means to classroom instructional ends.
5) The centrality of learning how to work effectively with students and the teacher's role in students' growth and development as learners.
6) Understanding today's increasing complexities for school parents in improving teacher/parent collaboration
I enthusiastically recommend this powerful little volume will help young teachers grow and refresh those that have been in the business for years.
As an associate professor of mathematics education, I prepare new math teachers for their careers through a sequence of courses and on-the-job training experiences. But what I can never give them is the very thing this book provides; a mentor they can keep by their side as they encounter the daily challenges of actually teaching in an actual classroom, day after day.
As the title suggests, Letters to a Young Math Teacher is a sequence of informal, even conversational chapters that zero in on the questions every young teacher faces: How do I establish rapport with my students? How do I get parents on my side? How can I form solid relationships with my colleagues? With the administration? How do I keep my balance in the face of unexpected and trying situations? How, in the end, do I craft my own career and keep my enthusiasm fresh? The authors, largely through anecdotes from their own experiences and those of their best colleagues and mentors, provide the answers and advice every new math teacher needs.
A number of the letters deal with topics, such as lesson plans and organizing instruction, that students will already be familiar with. In this, the authors reveal that they belong to an earlier generation that had to learn many of these things the hard way. Most university education programs now include practicums in their syllabi that include classroom observation, tutoring experience, and lesson planning and delivery under faculty supervision. Also, it should be noted that the departments of education of most states now provide a large body of online materials including lesson plans, in-class materials, and curricula to meet the state's standards of learning. The advice on testing in the classroom will not be new to readers, but is a good reminder that students should be able to support their grading decisions with data. Additionally, it is impossible to over-emphasize the importance of following up on teachable moments, a skill that too many teachers are slow in acquiring. Altogether these chapters will serve as excellent reminders of the main principles and techniques of education as students graduate into their professional lives.
The best chapters are those about working with people in and out of the classroom, especially students but also parents, colleagues, and administrators. Because human behavior is so various and (at times) so mysterious, the most valuable thing any young professional can have is a ready source of examples and wise counsel in handling inter-personal situations. The stories about dealing with disruptive students, and the advice about how to head off trouble before it starts, are really terrific. The examples of parent interaction and the insights into getting them on the teacher's side are also very good. And—what the new teacher can probably get nowhere else—the advice on working with fellow teachers, with the unions, and with administrators are pure gold.
Young teachers will still make mistakes, the very mistakes the authors of Letters to a Young Math Teacher so insightfully identify, but by reading this book they can innoculate themselves against bewilderment and frustration, and meet the challenges of teaching mathematics with confidence.
The student teachers I supervise will henceforth be receiving this volume as their graduation present.