As part of my effort to reinvigorate myself for the spring semester, I need to reconnect with the teaching philosophy I codified in ed school: see below. My philosophy defines my raison d’etre as a teacher.
Doing so also allows me to revisit why I teach, seeking inspiration from my brother’s passing twenty years ago tonight. These softer emotional and spiritual reasons do more to help underserved students than any amount of data-driven instruction alone will ever achieve.
Unfortunately, the emphasis this past decade on top-down, federally driven education policy à la No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and its progeny is doing more to drive compassionate, capable teachers like myself from the profession while simultaneously disenfranchising droves of underserved students. The overly narrow focus on student outcomes in mathematics, especially specifying courses like algebra, without taking into account process inputs such as student preparedness and readiness has been a colossal failure in this country. Doubling-down on this gamble with Common Core will only worsen the situation.