Overall, I think things are going well in Algebra. I think we’re settling in and figuring out how the class works and I’m excited about the increase in class participation the last few days.
One concern is that I’m worried that too many students still aren’t completing the homework assignments (particularly watching the instructional videos), and that when they find themselves confused they are not coming in to get extra help. Sometimes all it takes is five or maybe ten minutes and suddenly it all makes sense, but if a student never comes in, that never happens.
A second concern is that I’m still not happy with my own timing of things in class. I certainly got better the last few days, but I’m still misjudging how long things will take and we end up rushing at the end of class sometimes. I hope to get better at that.
- My goal for Algebra is to find additional interesting and relevant applications of each topic. I think I’ve done a decent job of that so far, but I want to continue to find even more – and better – examples that will not only help teach the concepts, but show my students the applications of Algebra and why I think it’s so important they learn it. I will accomplish this by continuing to search high and low for new examples, and continue to utilize my personal learning network to find new ideas.
- My goal for AHS is to help teachers move more of their practice to an online ecosystem, and particularly to use our Google Apps for Education installation more effectively. I think this will not only help them and their students teach and learn more effectively, but it will more effectively prepare our students to learn, work and live in a digital world. I will accomplish this by continuing to model the use of Google Apps in my Algebra classroom, and by sharing best practices from other teachers (both at AHS and outside of AHS) with all the teachers at Arapahoe.
- My goal outside of AHS is to be a more patient Dad. I think I’m okay at this, but I could definitely improve. I think because I work with high school students, I sometimes expect my own daughter (who’s only ten) to be as capable as a typical high school student. That’s obviously not reasonable, so I need to get better at this. I will accomplish this by visualizing this post in my head every time I feel myself losing patience with my daughter.