In this chapter, Steve identifies 15 program components that he argues are critical elements that support a high-performance mathematics program. This week, our focus is on the remaining 8 on the list.
Which one causes you and your colleagues the greatest challenge? Is there one that you feel that you would say is your greatest success? Tell us about these.
What specific action(s) can you take to strengthen at least one of the components on page 99 in your classroom, school, or district?
Even though PLCs have been implemented K-12 and the district hired math and literacy coaches for grades 5-12, professional development is still my district’s biggest challenge. There is no money for teachers to go to conferences or to pay for subs for release time. I see us falling further and further behind the times with no plan for catching up.
Another of my district’s challenges is the monitoring of programs. The district is “data poor”. Decisions are not made based on data. The discussions that would happen from Steve’s questions in this section would be very powerful with teachers and with administrators.
The most successful component in my district is “Intervention and student Support”. This is due more to dedicated teachers who go above and beyond for their students every day then it is having a district-wide, articulated intervention program. In the past, each building developed their own RTI process and followed through with various levels of success. This year, principals developed a district-wide RTI process. We are moving in a positive direction with this piece.
In my math coach role, I need to be asking some of the monitoring questions when I have discussions with teachers. Also, I have tried to elicit more support from administration and have had varying degrees of success. I usually am verbally supported and on rare occasions financially supported. The people making decisions do not necessarily know or understand the latest educational research and they need to be kept informed by those people who work with students every day. I need to work on being more vocal with my messaging.
ATOMIM is an affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics and of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics in New England.