Are you Algebra or Geometry?
Joe McAuliffe was a math teacher and a coach at Wakefield (MA) High School when I attended roughly ¾ through the last century. He was also considered “cool” by my peers and me, so I was fully engaged for his Geometry class Sophomore year. There were 4 quarters, and I received 4 “A’s.” It was easy. It was visual. It was right-brained. I don’t recall Algebra as fondly, nor do I recall who taught me. Still, I learned enough of it to craft some kick-ass Excel formulas. I’m thinking about how much of my success in Geometry was attributed to the right-brain thing, versus the influence of a fully engaged teacher and student. I’ll never know the answer to that equation, but I fondly remember the experience.
In 2014, I’m not sure teachers are as engaged. Financial pressures, larger classes, and standardized testing has really changed the workplace for K-12 professionals. A recent Gallup poll of teachers indicates nearly 70% of K-12 teachers are not engaged. That’s not good news for their young “customers” and the future for all of us. Disengaged teachers will result in more disengaged students. However, Gallup discovered that students who felt, “I have at least one teacher who makes me excited about the future” were “30 times more likely to be engaged.” That’s hopeful. One teacher can make a difference. Who was that for you? Tell us in our “Thanks to a Teacher” contest by sharing the best advice they gave you that helped influence your life and career. One winner will be selected, and “Kronos will award $10,000 to the school where the nominated teacher currently works or previously worked.” Do it now! The contest ends, this Friday, April 18, 2014.
Oh, and thanks, Mr. McAuliffe, wherever you are for helping me understand all the angles.