David Wees's blog

How many hours do teachers work?

I just conducted a very unscientific poll. I sent out a link on Twitter only and asked people who happened to be around how many hours they worked. It's not rigorous. However, in the limited sample group I have of 85 (update actually 132) educators on Twitter, here are the results as a CSV file.

All I have are questions

I might post on this blog like I know what I'm talking about but each of these posts is a question really, an internal discussion that I share. I'm finding I have more questions than answers now.

The current model of education doesn't work in my opinion, but I can't see what should replace it.

You need to give them the tools

Container of coins

Every elementary school classroom should have about $20 in change. Not fake money printed on a piece of paper, but real money. Yes, some of it will go missing over time, and you might need to lock it up depending on your community, but honestly it's worth the risk. It's only $20.

What is the International Baccalaureate?

I read an article on the Principal's blog by Mel Riddile talking about the changes the AP is implementing and how these changes will make it more like the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. He asks a teacher who has been fortunate enough to teach both programs for a long time.

It's The Skills

So a student of mine just mentioned me in this tweet.

Teaching ppl how to use google docs. Never thot Id be using it after high school. Thankyou mr. davidwees

Reward Innovators with Responsibility

A problem with education is that we have too many "best practices" and not enough innovation. Once you establish a procedure as a best practice there's no room for argument about whether or not it works. We should call it a "current practice" instead. Now we have the freedom to explore this practice and confirm whether or not it is actually working, and find new innovations in education.

Computers should transform mathematics education

Stephen Shankland posted an interesting article on CNET today. Here is an exerpt from his article, which you should read in full. He says:

What works in education

Let's suppose the picture below represents the possible states schools can be in, with the peaks being "good" places to be and the valleys being bad places to be. We don't really know yet what variables we are even representing with this picture, in fact it is likely that the picture itself would be better represented in 20 or 30 dimensions, as there a huge number of factors which affect how successful schools are.

Peaks and valleys

Triangles Are Your Friends

I got owned by one of my students today in math class which doesn't happen terribly often to me. Here's the situation, see if you can tell whose solution is really a better way to approach this problem.

Picture of my whiteboard from class

Arbitrary Deadlines

I read this article by Alan Stange on assigning penalties to students who hand in work late. He makes the point at the end of his blog post, "There is in fact relatively little significance to learning to complete on time." I agree with this statement and I'm going to expand upon it.

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