Happy Birthday, Mr. Math Teacher!

With my birthday approaching, several students wished me happy birthday today.  One brought me a bagel.  Another made me a card decorated with balloons (noting it was the extent of his artistic capability).  The writing in the card made me very happy.

I hope that you are able to have a day full of celebration without nagging parents and the weight of responsibility.

I want to thank you for challenging me as a student and as a person.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning calculus and hanging out with you in class this year.

You are a fantastic teacher and role model and deserve the best day!

Stay Golden Mr. Math Teacher,


These moments help me to remember why I teach.  They are so needed these days!

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Student Success Story

Our monthly professional development session this morning included a panel on student success stories.  Several students recounted how they overcame challenges in their lives ultimately enabling them to succeed in high school. Their stories were inspirational, heartbreaking, and, at times, humorous.  My time was well spent, and my teacher batteries topped off.

Providing the greatest charge, one of the student panelists recounted how one course, and its one teacher, changed her life.  As she described her year in the course, and the extended support provided by the teacher, I choked up slightly as I soon learned she was speaking about me.

It felt great to know a student appreciated my effort to help her and her classmates learn calculus.  She persevered in the course working from a prerequisite deficit, as had many of her classmates.  However, her personal struggles towered over any issue her classmates faced.

She is one impressive young lady destined for greatness.  I am honored I had the opportunity to teach her, and wish her health and wealth as she moves toward graduation this spring and college in the fall.  She starts at an Ivy league school on a full-ride with the world at her doorstep.

God bless America.

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iPads and Teachers: Why Technology-assisted Learning Will Never, on Its Own, Solve Our Education Crisis (Peg Tyre)

Dave aka Mr. Math Teacher:

“…learning is about engaging with that material in deep, essentials ways that help build, extend and ultimately create new knowledge. It takes more than swiping.”

Right on. Unfortunately, technology or not, what is missing in many of today’s classrooms is the opportunity to engage with material in deep, meaningful ways that lead to true understanding…district pacing calendars, overly broad standards frameworks, and standardized testing regimens preclude learning more than enhance it…

Originally posted on Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

Peg Tyre is a journalist. This article appeared in Bright, April 6, 2015.

At the Carpe Diem-Meridian School in Indianapolis, row after row of students are wearing headphones and staring into computer screens. Although they look like employees at a call center, they are actually fifteen-year-olds tackling algebra concepts. Their lessons were delivered earlier in the day by a software program offered by Edgenuity and reinforced by an instructor. Now the students are working through problems on their monitors, to show they have mastered it. Their results will be quickly fed back to their instructors, who will use it to shape the next day’s instruction.

Two students finish quickly and check the overhead monitor for their next task. Others are sweating through sophisticated problems. A few, who are struggling with the material, are working on problems that a software algorithm has determined are simpler but will help build the…

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