Changing the Culture: What Can I Affect?

A couple of weeks ago I went to a meeting for all the high school math teachers in the region about raising standardized test scores. Obviously this is a controversial issue all over the nation and everyone feels strong emotion when it comes to this subject. But that's not the direction I want to take this. Regardless of everything, we need to have high test scores and we don't. On my way to this meeting I was praying that God would give me some special insight. I am only a substitute teacher so I really have no significant input. I can't say what I've been doing and what works or doesn't work. It was super interesting to hear everyone's different opinions though.

My main thought kept coming back to this...the #1 factor affecting student's success is socioeconomic status (or so they tell me). How is it that the #1 most important thing is the #1 thing we can't affect? I definitely know God has placed me here, in this district, at this building, during this time for a reason. I honestly believe He has given me a vision for the region. My vision is to break the spirit of poverty over this region. There is a definite spirit of poverty or lack. The majority of people that live here never get out. There are no jobs and very little opportunity for doing anything. Education is not valued or rewarded. Get a job and have babies is pretty much the life goal for everyone. The best thing I can do for my students is to change the culture. Obviously, not something within my power alone to do. How do we affect the culture? How do make education a priority? What can one classroom teacher do to make a difference? I have ideas and dreams and thoughts but the truth is...I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm hoping this blog will become part of the answer to that. I need collaboration. I need to know what works. I need opinions, ideas, criticism, and feedback.

Show me how to make a difference and I'll show you something different.


  1. Hi, Miss Calculate! I'm in my first year of teaching and found your blog through my mom lol. I teach MIDDLE SCHOOL math, 7th & 8th grade remedial classes for students who failed the state assessment, and I also teach 8th grade geometry. I really like your writing style and have already learned so much from reading your blog!

    "I definitely know God has placed me here, in this district, at this building, during this time for a reason." - That is awesome! There have been days when I've felt so discouraged, but then God reminds me of this verse: "'God determined the times set for each person and the exact places where they should live.' - Acts 17:26"

    Hope your 2nd year's going well! Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Thanks for checking me out! Judging by the post you commented on, it seems you've started reading from the beginning. PLEASE continue because at this point I knew less than nothing of what I was talking about! lol

    And if you want your learning to grow exponentially PLEASE click Blogroll at the top of this page and check out those friendly teacher geniuses.

    I encourage you to start your own blog and definitely join twitter. We have to stick together!

    Thanks for your encouragement and I love the screen name.