A blog about teaching and learning in a maths classroom.

Looking back on 2009

Saturday, 02 January 2010 | 2 Comments

Usually I would reflect here on the year past. To be completely honest, I couldn’t be bothered reflecting on 2009. If I were to write down my thoughts, it would pretty much read like the post from February of 2009: Looking to 2009. It was a tiring and quite often frustrating year.

I feel my school is struggling in a system which doesn’t recognise the individual and unique needs of schools. One telling observation came from the school counsellor who also works in one of the region’s behaviour schools. She noted that our school has one of the highest proportions of students with mental health issues (which lead to behaviour issues) in the region. That is, when we feel our job is tough and it’s out-of-control, we’re probably right – it is very tough, and unfortunately, the system and processes created by the system cannot keep up.

In my own classroom, however, the woes of the school were not an issue. A productive year, a year in which I realised that I now worry more about the next day in terms of how well I communicate the content and provide opportunities for learning, rather than how I will handle behaviour issues. Or, in short, behaviour is now less of an issue than learning. Behaviour issues now are those that effect the learning of others.

There you go, not mathematical, not uplifting, slightly encouraging, just reality. I need to work out how, in my outlook for 2010 post, to explain that being realistic about your situation does not equate to negativity.

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Vincent on  13 January 10  at  11:48 AM #
Reflecting with constructive criticism is, in my opinion, what makes you a worthwhile educator. The fact that you reflect and look for better ways to engage your students, be it from lower socio-economic areas or more affluent areas, can only lead to a positive outcome for your students in 2010. Pity more educators don't reflect more often.


Simon Job on  13 January 10  at  09:58 PM #
Thanks Vincent. Unfortunately, I think there are many teachers who considering the difficulties of teaching, aren't able to find ways to move ahead.

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Simon Job — eleventh year of teaching maths in a public high school in Western Sydney, Australia.
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