Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Standing Ovation for Teachers

The math curriculum has changed completely. New text books are required. A new pedogogy is demanded. And secondary teachers have to rebuild their courses from scratch. There is no funding, however, for release time for teachers to work together, to review the new curriculum, to learn the new teaching methods.

So what do our math teachers do? You might imagine that they would close their doors, continue to teach the old curriculum, and wait for a change in government. But they don't. They find funding through the local and provincial teachers union, organize as a local specialist group, and begin to hold monthly meetings after school. (Thanks for doing the legwork, Denise.) I attended the last meeting: they were immersed in reviewing the new provincial exam that they would need to prepare students for, discussing upcoming professional development, and developing a plan to work with their elementary colleagues on an essential learning document to aid transition.

Their commitment against odds doesn't surprise me. Everywhere I go I see educators meeting after school, on weekends, during breaks, and online to think about teaching and learning. What's surprising is that you rarely hear about the daily dedication and passion of teachers. Our eyes tear up to hear the stories of Olympic athletes and their Herculean effort to "own the podium." Daily newscasts extol their virtues. Let's spare a few minutes to think of the heroes in education, their long hours, their commitment to excellence, their dedication to their craft, and their passionate pursuit of improved life-chances for each child in their care. Let's give them a standing ovation!
Image: garryknight's photostream on Flickr

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Shelley, for being so enthusiastic and supportive! I hope that through the math LSA, we can build a community of educators working together to improve math education. We have amazing expertise right here in our district; we are our best resources.