And then I found Twitter. (Well, actually my husband asked me to check it out for something else and here I am. :-) ) I saw all these great and wonderful teachers and what they were doing in their classes and thought to myself, "Maybe I can do that in my classes." I went to visit one of my Twitter friends and saw that I wasn't totally off base in how I taught (because after reading all of these great things others are doing, you do start questioning what you are doing in your class). I started incorporating more and more things that I learned and read about from my fellow members in the Math Twitterblogosphere.
Fast forward to today. It is now about 2 weeks after my midterm exams have been completed by my students. I am still sitting here frustrated. I have never sat and
I am still sitting here wondering what the point of the semester exam is. I know partially it's supposed to let students demonstrate what they learn (and for evaluation purposes, that is part of it). But when students don't take these kinds of exams on any semblance of a regular basis, they don't know how to prepare for them. Students focus on doing what they need to do to get by and when that assessment is asking them to remember stuff from 4 months ago, it is difficult for them if they are not using it on a regular enough basis. But when what we learned back in September is not directly related to what we are doing in December and January, that's difficult. We have so much material we are tasked with teaching these students that it creates a culture at times of learning the material for the short term and move on to the next. With all of the different viewpoints on teaching mathematics, there are good points to each (and some not good points). I can see what some of the "reformers" are getting at, but I go back sometimes to "what was so wrong with how we learned math?" (Side note - here's an interesting article from Education News about how maybe what we were doing wasn't so wrong.)
I didn't use to