I volunteered at the end of the last school year to help plan our school's first two professional development days for the year. I'll admit that my decision to volunteer was rather self-serving; I was ready to throw something at the speaker about halfway through last year's first pro-d seminar and didn't want to sit through another presentation like that one. So here I am, helping to plan this year's day 2 of in school pro-d.
We had a brief meeting at lunch last week to discuss the plan, and in particular, we discussed what we were going to be doing in the afternoon. Our school teacher-librarian made a couple of suggestions for things to do and present technology-wise to the staff and I was keen to have an hour to browse through what our library has for online resources. The kicker was what the question that was raised after her explanation:
"But what about the math teachers who are going to be bored/annoyed/not interested in this? What are they going to do?".
As someone who also teaches math as well as a modern language, I was partly offended but partly intrigued by this question. There is no doubt that very little pro-d is offered for math teachers from what I have experienced in our district. Or, at least there is very little offered for secondary math teachers. On the other hand though, every once in a while during a semester teaching math I think "god this is boring". Last year I discovered a few math teacher blogs that have piqued my interest as to why I find the monotony of textbook questions boring, and have been doing a lot of reading about what this is all about. I think it's really unfortunate that
a) math teachers are underserviced in pro-d
b) math teachers get a bad rap for not being interested in pro-d
c) math and its teachers get pegged for not wanting to be part of the crowd
Consequently, I volunteered to find something for the math teachers among us to keep them interested in some technology related pro-d. Wolfram Alpha anyone?
(Incidentally, my most favourite math teacher blog for the last while is:
Check him out!)