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Topic: Re: Joann Kirby's remarks
Replies: 3   Last Post: Mar 18, 1995 10:16 PM

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Karen Dee Michalowicz

Posts: 215
Registered: 12/4/04
Re: Joann Kirby's remarks
Posted: Mar 18, 1995 1:40 PM
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According to Joann KIRBY:
> Eileen...I am the product of "transient" parents. I attended 32 grade
> schools as a matter of fact. I take exception to your letter. In high
> school and college I maintained a 4.0 I wasn't exactly
> stupid. I now hold an executive position at the largest hotel/casino in
> the world! So, I assume in order to accomplish this I must have had
> excellent teachers??? Not at all, some were, but some were not but they
> did instill motivation in me ---something that teachers do not do
> anymore.

I am also the product of many schools because my father was in
the military. The differece between me and Eileen's students
was that my parents filled in where the schools were not able.
So, what did I do with all my gifts, I became a teacher. The
many, many teachers that I had were great. They worked hard
with little materials.

Joann, I find my colleagues today to be very hard working. We
can try to instill motivation. However, motivation is an
internal process inherent in the individual. We can use all our
tools to encourage the student. We CANNOT create motivation.

> My husband (the internet user) is a teacher and would agree that the
> majority of you just teach the subject and go home. There is no
> motivation for a student to learn. Maybe all of you teachers should take
> a look at yourselves and could possibly find a part of the problem.
> Naturally I would agree that you certainly can't solve all the
> problems...parents should also be more supportive. However, you could
> solve a small part of the problem...YOU. After all, it is up to
> the teachers to make the students want to learn as well and most of you
> don't seem to want to or don't know how to do that.

I have visited all parts of this nation speaking to various
school districts. It is not true that the majority of teachers
just teach and go home. We are constantly looking at our own
teaching in order to improve. In mathematics, you are writing
on a math list, we have professional standards we try to meet.
It is not up to us to "make the students want to learn". We
cannot MAKE students do anything that they don't value. If
they come from a home that does not value education, it is
almost impossible for us to encourage learning.
Since you are not in the classroom, I suggest you spend some
time in the classroom and see for yourself. I would not begin
to make comments about your workplace with out experience there.

> I receive the "product" of your labors when I hire the "you
ng college
> grad". Believe me, that product is pretty bad. The supervisors who work
> for me become teachers, teaching them simple math, reading, how to write
> a memo, etc., because they certainly haven't been prepared for the real
> world by the school systems....and these kids for the most part do not
> come from the "transient" population.

These students may not come from "transient" populations. Yet,
I would be willing to guess that they do not come from families
that value education.
> By the way, it might be helpful if you learned to spell. Or did you have
> teachers that just didn't feel that was important as well?

This is a list that has been designed for mathematics
colleagues to share ideas and comments about "standards" in
mathematics education. It is not a list in which we criticize
each other. The people who participate on this list are
interested in the education of their students. They want to
improve themselves and learn. We do not help each other by
FLAMES. They are not appropriate to intellegent discussion.

Concerning spelling, I am sorry I don't have a spell check
available when I write on this list. I have a major spelling
disability. The interesting thing is that I have had no
problems in mathematics or the other sciences. And, I am a
concert organist. My teachers did encourage spelling.... I
hated it because I was the first to sit down in spelling bees.
Yet, it hasn't bothered my writings. I have been fortunate to
be a feature writer each issue of NCTM's middle school journal.

I wonder if a spell checker and a calculator may be similar



Karen Dee
1994 Presidential Awardee
Math History Lives!

Karen Dee Michalowicz VQUEST Math Lead Teacher/Trainer
Upper School Mathematics Chair Virginia Quality Education
The Langley School in Sciences and Technology
1411 Balls Hill Rd, McLean, VA
22012 USA
703-356-1920(w) E-Mail:
Fax: (703) 790-9712 --or--

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