Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Involving the Community

We're entering the final week of TeachThought's Reflective Teacher 30-Day Blog Challenge!

Today's prompt:  "Write about one way you meaningfully involve the community in the learning in your classroom. If you don't yet do so, discuss one way you could get started."

I have to admit I'm one of the "don't yet do so" teachers.

But I have thought about this from time to time, and the way I see to start is with the parents of my students.

The question I hear most often is, "When are we ever gonna use this?!?!"  Boy, if I had a nickel for every time I've been asked that....

I have what I think is a good answer:  I doubt any future employer of my students is going to ask them to solve an equation or factor a trinomial.  But will these future employees need to know how to think?  How to organize information?  How to recognize patterns?  How to persevere through a challenging problem?  Yes!  And that's what I'm really trying to do:  teach them how to do all of those things.  I'm trying to develop brains.  Grow and strengthen synapses.

But, that answer doesn't satisfy young teens.

I would one day like to ask for parent volunteers to come share how they use math in their daily lives/careers. I could list topics we cover and see if parents can share things that they do that tie directly - or even indirectly - to those topics.

I could then extend that to leaders of local businesses.

This is an idea that has been rolling around in my head for awhile, and I'm not sure when it will actually happen.  It will definitely need to be focused on and intentionally planned.  I need to research and see what other teachers have done similar to this.  I would want to make the experience worthwhile and meaningful for my students.

One day, though, I'll be able to blog about the experience!

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