Kindergarten teacher Sharon Davison provides an example of how educators can serve as advocates in the current political climate.


I hope that our school will be around long enough for future students to look at 100 years worth of picture in our hallway, but it won't unless we instill value for this kind of knowledge in our students and our leaders.


As one of the professionals whose work life they know as well as almost any other, I owe it to my students to model what healthy labor looks like. Here's an annotated list of a handful of ways I try to teach them about healthy work through example.


It is a complicated world and it feels like it gets more complicated every day. I'd never suggest to a student that I know how to navigate this complexity, but I do believe that there are some etablished principles that can help. One of these is to develop a road map to use to track where you are going and evaluate whether or not you've gotten there. Requiring students to devise a plan for a complex problem and discuss that plan in detail in order to graduate high school will help them develop that map for the problems to come.


t). Early in my career, I tried to teach with a running internal monologue. I would scroll through the various external factors that were changing moment-to-moment and search for ways to effectively respond to individuals while maintaining fidelity to my class and school goals. I needed a .mantra. The following phrase help to quiet the constant chatter and re-establish focus on a few things that I can control.


Math teachers ought to look for situations where we can leverage the "aha" power of situations that conflict with our initial intuition. This task utilizes a redirection by setting students up to intuit an incorrect solution at first glance. They then explore the context and realize that what was the "obvious solution" is not even close to the best choice.*


Evidence-based reasoning provides bulwark against superstition and demagoguery. It forms the basis of most of the life-changing institutions we interact with: from science to law, journalism to business. This foundational principle is beautifully encapsulated in a simple form that starts with a "given" and moves, evidenced step by evidenced step, towards a desired assertion.


One's perspective inevitably influences one's understanding of the world. The process that you use to get to a solution is interesting, useful, and should be explained/understood; however, this doesn't mean that everything is up for debate. We can and should identify right and wrong claims even in a complex problem or world.


The movement against high stakes assessment is in danger of throwing out the motivational and organizational benefits of assessment with the proverbial bath water. Many "opt-out" activists (a movement of which I am generally supportive) seem to suggest that any increase in stress or consequences for students is inappropriate. Perhaps this perspective is well-intentioned, but it seems misguided to try to shield students from healthy stress which could build their resilience.


Effective "multi-mic" participation can help engage students and give teachers a quick sense of what student know and don't know. Like a dipstick on a car, they can give a snapshot of the class and whether or not it is OK to move forward.


The opinions expressed in Prove It: Math and Education Policy are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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