Here we are just a few days into the school year and I have a parent meeting tomorrow. The parent has been a math teacher and is now teaching college. The parent says that the algebra 1 book that I gave them is an Algebra 2 book. The book is part 2 of a two book series. They are very old and the school cannot afford to replace them. Book 1 matches up very very close to our other Pre-Algebra book. We have a new Algebra 2 book and I looked at it and the Algebra 1 book from the same publisher (that we dont have). Book 2 has topics that place it maybe in between the Algebra 1 book (that we dont have) and the Algebra 2 book. Some of the topics in book 2 go beyond the algebra 2 book. But I do not plan on making it even close to that far. I have made a list of what each book covers to show at the meeting. If I have to relent and go to book 1 I feel that they will be in trouble next year and beyond. If I stay with my current book I will take it slow and do lots of practice and they should be more than ready for Alg 2. Suggestions? Am I crazy for choosing the more difficult book? I would like to challenge them not coddle them.

I would take the emphasis OFF The textbook. It's not about the book, it's about what you teach in class. Our Algebra I and Algebra II textbooks cover a lot of the same topics-- in fact, a number of the problems repeat. I would approach the meeting with state standards in hand, and say that THIS was what I was teaching I would ensure that the homework examples I chose, and that each day's lesson, tied directly into the standards. And I would have an administrator at the meeting. In my school, at least, the textbook choice is not in the hands of each individual teacher. As you said, the books are "very old andthe school cannot afford to replace them." So reassure mom or dad that you are well aware of the differences between Algebra I and Algebra II, and that you'll be teaching your kids from where they ARE, not where the textbook assumes or wants them to be. That, like any good teacher, you'll supplement the textbook if and as necessary. That you'll push your kids to reach a little further than they thought they could, but not to the point where the work is over their heads. But don't use the word "coddle"-- the parent is going to think that you're implying something negative about their parenting style. Talk about "teaching" and "preparing" instead.

Thanks. I didnt even think about taking the standards in. I was planning on telling her that I would go at the speed necessary for the students. I would be jumping around in chapters for a more logical progression and use the other book to supplement and enrich.

I agree with the above post. You do not even HAVE to have a textbook. You teach to the standards and use whatever book you have as a resource. I had a parent get upset over a movie that the students watched in class. I responded with the goals and objectives that were covered in that movie and did not hear another word on the subject.

Alright, what is the best way to go about creating a checklist for the standards? I would like to make some sort of poster lining up the standards to the dates that I cover each topic. I have seen them in rooms before but I am not sure where. Can you buy these? Are they on the web for download?

Our print shop teacher makes these for us - all we do is send him a word file with our standards and converts the file into a poster. A few teachers create their posters with boxes in front of each standard and they do check them off as they work through that standard.

On the first day of school during the paperwork/introductions phase, I give my students a copy of the standards. It is hole-punched and on bright paper. After each project and/or test we go through the standards and check off the ones we've covered. If a student doesn't feel completely comfortable with an objective, they are to put a question mark beside it instead. I explained to the students that I am there to teach what the state of North Carolina tells me to teach. We may cover more than the standards, but our first priority is that list. It helps when the students ask why we skip some of the chapters. It also helps when I get those students who have been trained to argue during the evolution section. I have the actual link to our department of public instruction posted on my class website so the parents can see them at any time. A coworker of mine last year printed out one goal per sheet of paper (we only have five major goals in my subject). She taped each sheet to her cabinets so they were on display all year long.