Mr. Spallina – Vision and Priorities for the Year

Hey y’all! I’ll be entering my third year teaching Algebra 1, Trigonometry, and Advanced Algebra at Leland High School. This will be my second year working with the great math teachers in Mississippi. Fully incorporating common core and culturally relevant teaching are two areas that really excite me this upcoming year!

The main tenet of my vision is a growth mindset. Over the summer, I read “Mindset” by Carol Dweck. She explains the importance of a growth mindset: people can cultivate their basic qualities through effort. Essentially, everyone can grow through hard work. You can apply the growth mindset to almost any aspect of life: academics, relationships, parenting, sports training, anger management, etc. Contrastingly, people with fixed mindsets believe they have or do not have a certain quality. Our fixed mindset students believe they are either good or bad at math. However, a student with a growth mindset will embrace and celebrate challenges in math because these challenges will be enriching and rewarding through the application of hard work.  

Common core math will be different from any math classes my kids have experienced in the past. I will be very transparent with my kids about this reality. However, I will always message that even though this “new math” is different and challenging, we can all keep growing and getting better through the challenge.

Students will evaluate how much they grew at the end of each week. Every Monday, they will receive goal sheet on which they must state an area where they would like to grow for that week. These areas include, but are not limited to, respecting others in class, completing all homework assignments, taking better notes, solving equations etc. At the end of each week, I will collect the sheets, and give students my own comments based on how they grew and suggestions for the next week.

I look forward to meeting all of you, and working with you this year!

Dave Spallina

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