The limits of beg, borrow, and steal

Here’s a hard fact that I’ve been thinking about lately: there is no magic bullet for teaching. There is no curriculum out there, that once you have it in hand, everything will work smoothly. There is no list of techniques that, once mastered, makes you a great teacher. Teaching is an art, and the greatest teacher-artists (or is it teacher-leader-artists) are getting better and better across long careers. (This post, from one of the math bloggers I admire, makes the point better than I do.)

Because of that, a lot of the training I’ll be giving y’all throughout the year will be more about learning from what others have done–learning new techniques that might apply in your classroom, learning new lenses that might be useful for looking at your classroom, and learning new knowledge from all the research that is out there–rather than just connecting you with magic tools or techniques.

But, as I often try to advertise on here, I do want to connect you with those things! Because it’s by looking at them that you learn to make better plans yourself.

So over in the Filebox I’ve added some new stuff–modeling activities for periodic functions and quadrilaterals, a great method for how to simplify radicals, and a document that you can use to help your students navigate difficult problems. I also want to point you towards other people’s fileboxes. Because there’s a lot out there to learn from.


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