kitchen table math, the sequel

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Hello, I’m Redkudu.

Catherine has invited me to become a part of Kitchen Table Math, the sequel, so here I am. I am a high school English teacher in the state of Texas, which is a little like the Camelot described in the song, only hotter longer. I worked in the business world for some time before turning to teaching. I’d like to begin my blogging here by suggesting Catherine change the name of the blog to Kitchen Table ENGLISH and Math (because E comes before M in the alphabet, and English is a longer word than Math, and therefore should be bigger).

Since I don’t see that as likely to happen, here’s an excerpt of my weekly review of, well, stuff on the internet. The Saturday Circular was an idea I developed to force myself to blog regularly at Redkudu, but it hasn’t yet developed a personality or, actually, a set format, color scheme, or reliable font. Nonetheless, I hope you find something interesting to read. Thanks to Catherine for inviting me aboard! Now I’m going to cross my fingers and hope I clicked all the right buttons...

Saturday Circular, March 3, 2007.

Girls Being Sexualized - well, duh!
"That said, some of the report's findings are ... odd. One claim, for instance, is that girls who worry about body image perform poorly in math. The research that led to this conclusion involved putting college students in dressing rooms to try on and evaluate either a swimsuit or a sweater. While they waited alone for 10 minutes wearing their assigned garment, they were given a math quiz.

Apparently, female near-nakedness and cognitive thought are incompatible. But you knew that."

A commentor recently agreed with me that The Great Gatsby, if not carefully read, can seem strangely surreal to students (The valley of ashes, the eyes of Dr. Eckleburg). We blame it on the cover art which, come to find out, has an interesting history. There's a reason we all remember the same picture for the novel.

A Day In The Life - Graycie at Today's Homework details a day in her life. Very busy, and suspiciously unlike recent movies about wonder teachers.

I'm sure everyone's already read this, but just in case: It's just a job. Just reading the comments and their links will keep you occupied for a while. I've said before: teaching is a profession, and teachers should be viewed, and view themselves, as professionals in their field, not as professional caregivers. I'm not there to give care - I do that because it's part of my nature. I'm there to teach students how to read and write.

The idea of professionalism in the teaching field dovetails nicely into a recent post at From the Trenches about Discussing Teaching with Non-Professionals, and the perception of teachers by those outside the schoolhouse. Once again, good reading in the comments.

Immigrant Students Learn A Lesson In Disappointment
"Then there is the matter of the college courses. The flagship school of the Internationals Network in New York, on the campus of LaGuardia Community College in Queens, not only allows students to take college classes but ultimately to earn an associate’s degree. The families that chose the Brooklyn school had been led by the education department to expect something comparable.

Instead, Jeferson Lopez discovered he would not be able to take classes to prepare for a career in architecture. Youstina Rafla, who aspires to be an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has been unable to start amassing college credits. Pablo Oliva could not even get permission to use the Kingsborough library on weekends."

Good News? Or, something...
"High school students would need to take 12 end-of-course tests over several years — and earn a passing average — to graduate, instead of passing each of four tests in the 11th grade, under an overhaul of the state's controversial testing program proposed Thursday by key lawmakers."

Spring Break is right around the corner. Here's hoping you get some sun.


Catherine Johnson said...

I don't think I've ever seen the Gatsby cover!

Ben Calvin said...

Welcome to KTM, Redkudu! Enjoyed your DI posts on your blog.