Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Math vs. Language Arts Teachers

This will be a short post, actually more of an observation.

Two weeks ago, my jury duty and a mandatory district training conflicted.  During a desperate phone call from the courthouse parking lot, our wonderful school secretary managed to get the district office to allow me to attend the training for 6th grade Math teachers rather than the Language Arts training.  I say desperate because there was crying and frantic high speed whining interlaced with, "What am I going to do?  I can't serve on a jury for a murder trial!  The judge said 6 to 8 weeks...my year is over!"  It turned out that they made some deal and did not go to trial.  Which is good because I can't even watch Law and Order without having nightmares.  Not only did she calm me down, but she got my teaching partner into the Math training too.

Being a Read 180 teacher in a self-contained classroom, I have always gone to Language Arts trainings - heck, I have led Language Arts trainings.  I cannot remember the last time I sat down for a training with "Math People."  Quite frankly, they usually intimidate me and make me feel as if I am back in 6th grade myself.

Going into the training, I was skeptical and was sure that I did NOT need a two day training on writing lesson plans.  Seriously, lesson plans.

However, I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the table discussions and by how much we were allowed to explore Common Core standards - long story, but as of today, my district is still sticking to state standards.

But my biggest surprise was learning that "Math People" are much better listeners, don't have sidebar conversations, and are amazingly flexible with their strategies and practices.   I left the training today looking forward to more discussions and interactions with my newly discovered 6th grade "Math People" colleagues.

Now my Read 180 teaching partner and I are plotting to only go to Math trainings...so much quieter and more productive:).  Are all Math trainings this way or was just an exceptional day?

1 comment:

  1. LOL! I'm at a community college, as a resource person for "underprepared" students and the social dynamics are similar. The math folks ... like to get to the answer and get it done. Now, there are other pretty major issues as far as the ability of a "math person" to comprehend what a person who "Isn't A Math Person" is going through... (tho' I really liked the "math major talks about fear" -- esp. the last minute or so -- at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xs9aGVUZ3YA&feature=youtu.be )

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