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The Art of Coaching Better Math Instruction

The Art of Coaching Better Math Instruction


[To class] I have one question I wanna see a thumbs
up or thumbs down. True or false? True or false, here it is. When I meet with teachers and work with
teachers I make it very clear that it’s an honor
for me to be able to to be invited to your classroom and work
with your students. Being a coach it really is a luxury so there also
needs to be a certain amount of respect for the
demands of the job that teachers are facing. – [To class] That make sense? -Sure. That make sense? yes sir? Anybody watch basketball, I love
basketball. So let’s just say these are Kevin Durant’s
stats in basketball. Teaching is an art that you can continue to perfect and craft, and that’s
part of what makes it fun and interesting. I spent 10 years as a
teacher and I’ve been doing research for about
10 years and I didn’t get out of teaching because
I didn’t enjoy it I actually got out of teaching because
I was interested in learning more about the complexities of teaching, math teaching in particular. We don’t
want to just average anything. -Right. We kind of have a look at our data and
say what is actually mean? – Right and that’s why I’m given the samples enough to serve its purposes. – Which I like. Exactly.
– Right so we’re going to do A and then we’re going to do… I like it. Instructional coaching is embedded
professional development, for teachers. When coach comes in, you’re being asked to share your
teacher practice, that’s a vulnerable place for teachers
to be. If I’m going to be vulnerable, I have to feel like I can trust you.
I have to feel like that you have my best interest at heart.
It is a partnership with the end goal of increasing student
achievement. Given that most of my responsibilities at AIR are research-related, I’ve been doing a lot of work to
understand math professional development, math coaching, and math teaching and learning more
deeply. For me I really like being able to do research but also to have a place to apply it in
the context of Technical Assistance. -[To class]Tell her why you
think she’s a good guesser – Because I think she is a good guesser because -The way that I was taught math and many
people were taught math is that it’s a series of procedures or
steps that you need to follow to get the right answer. And there’s certainly a place of that, where arithmetic is
important and skills are important. But too
often we find when procedures are taught in the
absence of concepts, they’re not retained very well. We find that teachers are often not given the time to think carefully about what these concepts mean. -[To class]The way that you guys are thinking through this is exactly right. What are my factors – Especially with the emphasis of the
Common Core State Standards and a push to make the United States math curriculum more
world-class, more conceptual more rigorous, there’s really no way
around getting the concepts. The problem is, it’s
much easier to teach a set of procedures. – [whispering to student] Work for you? Ok good, now you an go on to number 3. – If you can get someone that is engaged
in solving problems and figuring things out, that’s probably
going to serve them well, regardless of what they’re studying, and when you look at assessments, the higher up you go in
school, there are more application questions there are more problem-solving
situations. If you’re able to explain why, that’s
gonna get you further in the long run then just knowing how. – [To student] So far so good. – Teaching is incredibly complex. Having an extra set of eyes and ears is something that any teacher would
probably love to have.


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