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Old 08-19-2008, 09:05 AM   #41
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From what I recall of math in high school it seemed to be the best class for teachers. If they developed their tests and assignments correctly they could easily and quickly grade them during their break period. They never assigned any written papers that took lot of time to grade. At the high school level math was a simple A+B=C. Not much fuzzy thinking involved.
If your science classes did not assign any written papers or essays on their tests, then they differ from all such classes that I either took (in grade school, junior high, high school, and afterwards) or taught (physical science, physics, and algebra in private high schools while between my graduate degrees). Even math tests had a few short answer questions as "gimmes" for the more verbally oriented kids. I spent about 2 hours each night grading algebra homework (which means going through the equations on 90-100 papers, figuring out where the student made a mistake, commenting on that, and deciding on fair and equitable scores for various more common types of mistakes, and noting what I need to talk about more on the next day, and recording grades). Then I got to develop new homework sheets and tests and work through them to create answer sheets for the next night.

Break period? I had one but usually ended up doing other work-related things during that time such as checking on lab material availability or keeping up those stupid bulletin boards, going over my grade book to see how students were doing, or helping students who needed extra help and had a study hall that period or any one of a number of other tasks. I must have made copies of tests, handouts, and homework sheets for the students during that time too, though I don't actually remember doing that. and I remember doing that on half broken mimeograph or multilith machines (this was back in the dark ages).

Before and after school? We had to patrol the hallways and grounds.

Lunch? I was required to police them at that time as well and to pretend that I enjoyed eating the fattening cr*p that was served, since nobody was allowed to bring lunch at those particular (private) schools.

I was never made for teaching and really respect those who make the effort to do a good job in teaching our children. Good teachers are all heroes in my opinion. I was not a very good teacher and I thank my lucky stars every day that I am not a teacher!! It is an awful, awful, AWFUL job, at least for me. I only did it for about a year on a temporary basis, so I didn't even get a paid summer out of it. At least I learned that it wasn't my cup of tea and got out of it fast, which was probably a benefit for all involved.
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Old 08-19-2008, 09:28 AM   #42
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If your science classes did not assign any written papers or essays on their tests, then they differ from all such classes that I either took (in grade school, junior high, high school, and afterwards) or taught (physical science, physics, and algebra in private high schools while between my graduate degrees). Even math tests had a few short answer questions as "gimmes" for the more verbally oriented kids. I spent about 2 hours each night grading math homework (which means going through the equations, figuring out where the student made a mistake, commenting on that, and deciding on fair and equitable scores for various more common types of mistakes, and noting what I need to talk about more on the next day, and recording grades). Then I got to develop new homework sheets and tests and work through them to create answer sheets for the next night.

Break period? I had one but usually ended up doing other work-related things during that time such as checking on lab material availability or keeping up those stupid bulletin boards, going over my grade book to see how students were doing, or helping students who needed extra help and had a study hall that period or any one of a number of other tasks. Before and after school? We had to patrol the hallways and grounds.
Like I stated this is from my high school. Yes in sciences we did have short essay questions, but not in math. If we did have a short answer question in math it was literally a one or two word answer, nothing longer than a sentence for the over achievers. At my high school we had six periods, instructors only taught five, so there was another three hours per day for the instructors to grade papers and review their lesson plans for the next day. When dealing with 150 students I could see where it would take the "extra" time to actually grade the homework and tests, but surely overtime should not be required.

All of the math classes I took involved the same teaching pattern. 20-30 minutes of instruction/going over homework then 20-30 minutes of completing homework. My instructors used a textbook and assigned homework out of it, so they did not have to develop any homework assignments.
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Old 08-19-2008, 09:47 AM   #43
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Like I stated this is from my high school. Yes in sciences we did have short essay questions, but not in math. If we did have a short answer question in math it was literally a one or two word answer, nothing longer than a sentence for the over achievers. At my high school we had six periods, instructors only taught five, so there was another three hours per day for the instructors to grade papers and review their lesson plans for the next day. When dealing with 150 students I could see where it would take the "extra" time to actually grade the homework and tests, but surely overtime should not be required.

All of the math classes I took involved the same teaching pattern. 20-30 minutes of instruction/going over homework then 20-30 minutes of completing homework. My instructors used a textbook and assigned homework out of it, so they did not have to develop any homework assignments.
So much for homework being done at home! And didn't your math teacher require that you answer all short answer questions in complete sentences, rather than in one or two words? And if overtime is not required to grade 150 papers, do you think they did it in the car while driving home after work? I think what we are illustrating is that being a math/science teacher can be different at different schools.

Also, there is that old saying about walking in another man's moccasins. Teaching is (can be?) a miserable job!! Anyone with other saleable skills who goes into teaching is doing it out of love for the children, in my opinion (little brats! IMO).
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:06 AM   #44
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So much for homework being done at home! And didn't your math teacher require that you answer all short answer questions in complete sentences, rather than in one or two words? And if overtime is not required to grade 150 papers, do you think they did it in the car while driving home after work? I think what we are illustrating is that being a math/science teacher can be different at different schools.

Also, there is that old saying about walking in another man's moccasins. Teaching is (can be?) a miserable job!! Anyone with other saleable skills who goes into teaching is doing it out of love for the children, in my opinion (little brats! IMO).
Allowing us to do a portion of the homework in class allowed us to work on our own and ask question when we were really screwed up. In the words of my math instructors, "This is Math not English, keep your answers short." The instructors had three hours of non-class time during the day to grade papers or do whatever they needed to do for class. Most completed short tasks and graded papers while we were doing assignments in addition to the non-class time.

I definitely wouldn't want to be a teacher in todays schools, unless I taught an elective. I can't tell you how many times I get a surprised reaction form my kid's instructors when I complained to them about not receiving enough feedback. I even had to write a letter to the principle due to the lack of feedback from the teachers. After that I received daily e-mails about his behavior, and surprisingly noticed a marked improvement, when my wife and I were allowed to be part of the solution.
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:48 AM   #45
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At my high school we had six periods, instructors only taught five, so there was another three hours per day for the instructors to grade papers and review their lesson plans for the next day.
:confused:

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All of the math classes I took involved the same teaching pattern. 20-30 minutes of instruction/going over homework then 20-30 minutes of completing homework. My instructors used a textbook and assigned homework out of it, so they did not have to develop any homework assignments.
Twenty minutes of instruction? No wonder kids can't do math...
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:05 PM   #46
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funny teaching/finance story I just heard: an accountant is interviewing a recent graduate and is quizzing them about characteristics of invoices (as opposed to other crazy similar documents that have to be emitted).

An invoice is subject to IVA (what is called VAT -"value added tax"- elsewhere in Europe).

The candidate, in a moment of unintended philosophy, declared "an invoice is subjective"!!

"soggetta all'IVA" => "soggettiva"


oooookk

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We never did any homework in any class (public schools; I graduated in 1977). Nor did we go over homework, unless there had been some class-wide failure of comprehension. Guess we were quite lucky!

lets-retire.. I'm glad you're able to keep better tabs on your kid.. but I also can't imagine how a teacher can spend time composing daily e-mails for 30+ kids. That in itself could conceivably be an extra couple of hours/day!
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Old 08-20-2008, 06:53 AM   #47
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HFWR--IIRC the math required to graduate high school was simple math. I skipped that and went straight into Algebra. Since I always took elective math I figure (now) that the instructor expected us to be motivated enough to study to gain a thorough understanding of the material.

ladelfina--You're correct all of those e-mails would be a daunting task. The only reason I became involved is the DW and I would hear nothing, then one day we would receive an e-mail complaining that for the last several weeks the kid had been a terror. My response always was if he is doing something wrong tell me about it that day not days or weeks later. We monitor his grades closely on-line and if we see a negative trend we contact the instructor, to see how we can be of assistance. We also request parent/teacher conferences when they are offered. That is normally when we receive the surprised looks.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:23 AM   #48
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HFWR--IIRC the math required to graduate high school was simple math. I skipped that and went straight into Algebra. Since I always took elective math I figure (now) that the instructor expected us to be motivated enough to study to gain a thorough understanding of the material.
Actually, I was trying to figure where the three hours came from...

I took two years of algebra, a year of geometry, and a semester each of trig and calc in HS, but the minimum requirements were much less. (Don't remember...) One of my pet peeves from HS was the two-track system, one called "academic", presumably for those headed to college, and "commercial", as it was called then, which included such rigorous coursework as home ec, woodshop, and bookkeeping. I support a vocational alternative for those not destined for "higher education", though it should still be academically challenging. But I took four years of math, and four years of science, and was competing on the gpa scale with folks who took basketweaving...

Oh, and I wouldn't want to be a teacher, for love nor money.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:46 AM   #49
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One of my pet peeves from HS was the two-track system, one called "academic", presumably for those headed to college, and "commercial", as it was called then, which included such rigorous coursework as home ec, woodshop, and bookkeeping. I support a vocational alternative for those not destined for "higher education", though it should still be academically challenging. But I took four years of math, and four years of science, and was competing on the gpa scale with folks who took basketweaving...
We had a few of the brains trying to get the ranking system modified at our school. One or two of the top ten in my graduating class took the minimum to graduate, similar to the commercial program you describe. These people received all of the honors as if they worked extremely hard in very difficult classes. I have no doubt they worked moderately hard to obtain the grades they did, but they bumped people who actually took extremely difficult academic classes and suffered lower GPA's because of it. It didn't seem fair to rank someone who took underwater basket weaving above someone who was taking advance placement classes when the person taking the more advanced classes scored .1 grade points lower.

The valedictorian in my class had something like a 3.98 or 3.99. He was taking the highest level of classes offered in our school starting his junior year. His senior year he could not take a full course load, because there was nothing left to take, unless he took freshmen level classes. We had several classes together (but I scored much lower than him), until he started taking the Advanced Placement classes.
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Old 08-20-2008, 09:06 AM   #50
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lets-retire, a lot of schools nowadays weight the classes such that an extra 0.33 or 0.50 or whatever is added onto the GPA of an honors or AP class. Also, when you are comparing GPAs for colleges or whatever the hell else you need them for, colleges look a lot more at your schedule and then you GPA rather than the other way around. Also, SAT/ACTs count a lot.
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Old 08-20-2008, 09:18 AM   #51
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lets-retire, a lot of schools nowadays weight the classes such that an extra 0.33 or 0.50 or whatever is added onto the GPA of an honors or AP class. Also, when you are comparing GPAs for colleges or whatever the hell else you need them for, colleges look a lot more at your schedule and then you GPA rather than the other way around. Also, SAT/ACTs count a lot.
They do now. Where/when I was going through getting into a decent college was all about the GPA and SAT/ACT. I know I was locked out of many scholarships due to my GPA, not that it was good enough to really be in competition.
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Old 08-20-2008, 09:54 AM   #52
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I was home schooled. Does that mean all of it was homework or all of it was schoolwork?
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:11 AM   #53
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I was home schooled. Does that mean all of it was homework or all of it was schoolwork?
Between 9 and 3, school work... outside of that homework.
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:19 AM   #54
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Between 9 and 3, school work... outside of that homework.
So if my studies generally went from 9-1 but we went year-round... man, this is trippy.
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:28 AM   #55
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One of my pet peeves from HS was the two-track system, one called "academic", presumably for those headed to college, and "commercial", as it was called then, which included such rigorous coursework as home ec, woodshop, and bookkeeping. I support a vocational alternative for those not destined for "higher education", though it should still be academically challenging. But I took four years of math, and four years of science, and was competing on the gpa scale with folks who took basketweaving
If it makes you feel better, Texas changed HS graduation requirements for freshmen that started HS last year. 4 years of English, science and math, and 2 years of a foreign language are required to graduate. Required math courses are Algebra I, II, Geometry and a fourth class such as Pre-Cal, Calc, AP statistics, etc. Required science classes include Biology, Chemistry and Physics, with a fourth class chosen from a wide variety of stuff ranging from Geology to something called Pathophysiology.

They still have the "commercial" alternative, although it's called something different. But with weighted GPAs I doubt any of the kids taking retailing classes are up there to steal valedictorian away from the kid taking AP Calculus in his junior year. Admittedly the high schools in the district differ in character, while the school where my son is attending had 21 NM finalists, 23 semi-finalists and 30 commended, at a different HS they had the great lunch room riot that took police from three cities to bring peace.
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Old 08-20-2008, 12:55 PM   #56
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Well, I finished 11th in my class, but would have been higher. Of course, if I'd have studied something beside girls, beer, and sports, I might have done better also...
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:15 PM   #57
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If you're a Hawaii teacher, then you get more salary & certification for teaching AP courses.

The $10,000 Wal-Mart prizes don't go to the remedial math teachers, either...

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Well, I finished 11th in my class, but would have been higher. Of course, if I'd have studied something beside girls, beer, and sports, I might have done better also...
Which was your best subject and which were you 11th in-- the girls, the beer, or the sports?
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