Like so many of you...I am just getting back in the swing of things after a crazy Christmas break. I must say that there is something nice about a routine. Please KNOW that I have not forgotten about our little issue here called "math". I have simply taken a little step back over our break so my husband and children could have their "commander and chief" overseeing the holiday festivities with a whole heart while I had them all to myself. As a very good friend who has fought this battle much, much longer than I have reminds me often.."balance in all areas is a must". Thank you "L" you are so very right. The injustice of this issue can overtake you and consume you at times if you are not careful. So, I have taken my friend's advice and taken a little break. But, I am rested. I have clarity of thought. And I am ready to continue to make our voices heard on behalf of our children.
There is so much to share that I have learned over break. There have been several of us researching our MAP scores at DESE and learning so much about what is going on in our school district based on the scores that are available for public consumption. I have learned SO MUCH, and of course as a result of what I have learned I have EVEN MORE QUESTIONS!!!! Imagine that! I am still processing all of the information that I have learned. I will share soon.
I had the privilege of getting to speak to the incredibly knowledgable Elizabeth Carson from the NYC Hold for quite some time. I have learned so much from her and the years of research and work that she has spent fighting this issue all over our nation. She is an invaluable resource, and an amazing woman. If any of you have seen her work at the NYC Hold...you know that we owe her such a debt of gratitude for her endless hours of devotion to fighting this the good fight for our children. Thank you Elizabeth for educating me and the priceless insights that you shared.
I also had the opportunity to speak with a woman I admire so very much. I met her through this site, and I am so grateful for her careful wisdom and precious insights to what we are experiencing. She is a high school math teacher from up north. She, too, has been a part of this fight much longer than I. She has been on the front lines for many years and as a high school math teacher who is passionate about her "calling" she fights this the good fight because she has seen firsthand what this way of teaching does to our children. Her heart breaks for the children who are the byproduct of this "experimental" kind of teaching. I have learned so much from her, and am ever so grateful for her profound guidance and insight. She continues to point me in the right directions and imparts so much knowledge my way that I would not have ever known about without her. Thank you "L". Out of something so ridiculously trying at times you are a true bright spot for me. Thank you for being my teacher.
We will be holding another very informal forum soon to retrieve all of those signatures that you all collected over Christmas break. Just hold on to those for now. We will come together again soon. I will keep you posted on that, too. We will have more petitions to pass out and an opportunity to meet a couple of the school board candidates at that time.
NOW...FOR A MATH UPDATE. ON MONDAY THE FIRST NIGHT BACK FROM BREAK I GOT A CALL FROM SOMEONE I AM VERY CLOSE TO. SHE WAS HAVING A TOTAL AND COMPLETE FREAK OUT BECAUSE ON MONDAY NIGHT HER THIRD GRADE SON BROUGHT HOME 7 DIVISION PROBLEMS. THE PROBLEM IS YOU SEE.....OUR THIRD GRADERS HAVE NOT EVEN BEEN INTRODUCED TO MULTIPLICATION YET. (Yes, you read it right...they don't even know how to multiply yet). HER QUESTION TO ME IN NOT VERY NICE TERMS..."HOW IN THE WORLD CAN THEY EXPECT OUR KIDS TO DO DIVISION IF THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO MULTIPLY?"
VERY GOOD POINT MY FRIEND. I COULD NOT AGREE MORE....THIS IS CRAZY! OUR POOR LITTLE CHILDREN. YOU KNOW IF IT DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE TO US, THEN HOW IN THE WORLD CAN IT MAKE SENSE TO ANY OF THEM? KEEP FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT PARENTS. KEEP A VERY WATCHFUL EYE ON WHAT YOUR KIDS ARE BRINGING HOME AND DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK LOTS AND LOTS OF VERY POINTED QUESTIONS. YOU DESERVE ANSWERS. WE MUST KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON AS WE ARE OUR CHILDRENS' BEST AND ONLY TRUE ADVOCATES!