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.