It’s (almost) Teacher Appreciation Week! Here are 3 simple ways to show your teachers of math that y


Acknowledge that their work is important.

Here's an inspirational quote that you can send to your teachers of mathematics.

Teaching students how to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them is an invaluable life skill. Your teachers of mathematics know that learning content is not the only goal for students in math class. Learning how to think, reason, and find multiple ways to solve a problem is. When graduates face problems beyond the walls of schools, we hope that they have been educated enough to come up with effective, reasoned, and well-calculated solutions to them!

Inspire them to inspire their students.

Provide hope by sharing this informative video from Jo Boaler, professor of mathematics teaching at Standford University.

Many students fear math and shut down their own learning the moment they step into math class. The belief that some people have “math brains” while others don’t has been debunked in recent years, yet the Henry Ford quote remains true: ”Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right!” Math teachers not only have to teach content, but must also re-program the minds of students to believe that they are actually capable of learning it. For elementary level teachers of mathematics, the challenge is to keep students from ever thinking they are “bad at math” and to celebrate the efforts and progress of children when they are struggling with mathematical concepts. With messages from parents and society continuing to reflect the “math brain” misconception, this is a particularly difficult obstacle for students to overcome making the teacher’s job that much more difficult.

Provide them the support they need to make the instructional shifts to inquiry-based teaching demanded of the Common Core.

Changing teaching practices is a complex and a difficult process. Research shows that teachers of mathematics need time, support from administrators, and opportunities for active learning in order to change their teaching methods effectively. Read this research clip posted on www.nctm.org and join NCTM to read the brief.

  • Time: Give teachers time to learn and grow as professionals. It makes sense that the more time teachers are given to develop and practice inquiry-based teaching methods, the more likely they are to incorporate them effectively in their classes.

  • Support from administrators: Show teachers you support their development toward state and national expectations by assuring district- and school-level goals are consistent with these. If coherent goals are already in your improvement plan, consider your role in helping teachers achieve them. Does administration need to provide professional development, be more lenient with pacing guide expectations as teachers try new methods, or garner support from stakeholders such as parents? I’d also recommend looking for and applauding teachers who create more "ah-ha!" moments for their students. Your acknowledgement of teacher efforts will build the momentum toward success.

  • Provide active learning opportunities: These are opportunities where, according to the aforementioned NCTM research brief, teachers are “planning lessons; observing other teachers and being observed; reviewing students’ work; and making presentations, writing papers, or leading discussions.” If you are limited in your ability to provide these opportunities with all of your administrative duties, commit to adding instructional math coaches to your team who can do the work for you.

You know that you can “count” on your teachers of mathematics. This Teacher Appreciate Week, let them know that they can count on you!

Learn more about how Pear School Solutions can put accomplished math coaches into your buildings quickly to support your teachers!

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