One Good Thing


Over the past week I was on the lookout for a good thing as part of the MTBoS blogging initiative. I’m a K-5 math coach and this is my third year embedded at the same school. I get to see the folks I work with grow over time. Likewise, they’ve seen me grow over the two and a half years I’ve been there. Early in my time there, there’s no way I could have predicted a week like this past one. It was crazy, possibly one of my busiest of the school year. However, the blogging challenge encouraged me to reflect on where I’m at… currently. Although the week was busy, there were multiple instances where authentic dialogue unfolded about our practice as math educators.

  • At a math coaches meeting/training this week we had the opportunity to give and receive specific feedback from fellow instructional coaches regarding how we carefully craft coaching conversations.
  • At a training I facilitated on mathematical discourse a participant hung around after we were “done” to engage in some great conversation around what instructional delivery could look like using a more student-centered approach. I got the opportunity to walk her through a task from the training using John Van de Walle’s before, during, and after model.
  • While working with a teacher at my school we were able to dialogue around the specifics of how we scaffold students to support productive struggle and the question of how much scaffolding is too much. Also, we both acknowledged that it’s hard work, but didn’t let that stop us from moving forward in exploring this practice.
  • Multiple teachers sent me emails (without prompting) sharing their assessment data on a current standard. One included students who were proficient, were approaching proficiency, and were not proficient (and the plan for those students moving forward). Exciting!
  • In multiple planning sessions a grade level team and I were able to work through the math collaboratively using visual models and think through how students will make sense of the tasks for which we were planning.

These are the types of things I envisioned happening when I decided to pursue a role that supports other teachers in the teaching of mathematics. NCTM paints a challenging picture of the principle of professionalism in Principles to Actions, but I feel that this week I got to experience a taste of it in various forms… and that’s a good thing.

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