Jan 5, 2012

math teacher's response to @kanyewest

Updated: 1/8/12

I've struggled more and more so with the question: "what's the point?" I read articles upon articles about curriculum reform and I listen to strategists and TED speakers debate about what we should teach our kids. I know times are a'changing rapidly, but at the end of the day I'm still a teacher in a math classroom bounded by the years-old NCLB system that's facing imminent change. Tonight, I still must complete my lesson plans for tomorrow, because it's still required that the students in my geometry class learn the pythagorean converse. This way, they can determine whether or not a triangle is obtuse, acute or right when given the side lengths of a triangle.

Kanye went on a 80+ tweet spree (Why he didn't just blog? I don't know). In four consecu-tweets, a tired idea:

Yes, Kanye, as a math teacher I see your point and I can agree with you. But something still rubs me the wrong way about people who propose bold statements about education, without ever geting their feet wet.  All I'm hearing is name-dropping and sexy words and ideas. "Real life," "new forms of curriculum", "kids should be able to start taking majors." It's the same ol' script. Nothing new. Kanye, teach my class for even just a week. Be Mr. West. Get the experience. Manage a classroom full of 30 mini-Kanye's who may have no regard for what you've got to say. Then, maybe you'll have a better idea of what it'll take to lay out what you mean by "real life." Then, you can show me your "new form of curriculum."  Then, I'll welcome your tweets with open arms.

(Of course, he IS Kanye and probably wouldn't have too tough a time connecting w/ my Oaklanders.)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

2 questions:

1. While Kanye may have little problem connecting with students, what would he do? What would he teach?

Which leads to...
2. Anytime people talk about prepping for "real life" I want to ask, "Whose real life?"

My real life is different from Kanye's. Even within the very small rural school where I teach there is a diverse number of realities that my students may face when they graduate.