This months leadership corner comes from the NCSM Newsletter via Suzanne Alejandre
Valuing as the Key to Unsilencing
Within a school community there are a number of different roles and interactions, including: *
student <-> teacher *
teacher <-> teacher *
teacher <-> professional development provider * teacher <-> school administrator *
teacher <-> district administrator *
school administrator <-> district administrator
Underlying each of these interactions are students and the goal of fully developing their mathematical content knowledge and practices. At the heart of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Initiative is the valued learner, a learner with an active voice in his/her own learning. Under No Child Left Behind practices and assessment many students' voices have fallen silent because there just has not been time to develop or listen to them. Unsilencing students' voices will take effort, but only when this happens will students be demonstrating their full mathematical understanding.
Do the teachers you are working with as colleagues or in a professional development capacity approach teaching with the thought that their students "don't learn" something until they have "taught" them? Or, in contrast, do they wonder if their students have some understanding of a topic before they launch into the unit? For example, teachers might ask themselves: * What have the students already learned about the topic? * What conceptual understanding do they have? * What misconceptions do they have? * What could be the best starting point?