Teach What You Want

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Math, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. Math

    Math Cohort

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    Is it true that a teacher can teach what they want? As in if you do not like a certain topic or chapter in a book you can completely skip it? One of my teachers said that he/she could teach us what ever he/she wanted. The teacher said he/she did not have to use the book at all. The teacher told us that his/her teacher did not show us the current stuff we are learning. I know that can definitely happen as I was never taught how to factor a polynomial in Algebra 1. I acquired the skill later on even though I was told I should have learned that skill in algebra 1.
    Also I know in Geometry we skipped several sections and I am hoping this does not some how backfire on me. If one of my future teachers skip a topic will I be learning it in college? Or would I just be expected to teach myself as a Math Teacher?
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    In my state we have standards that we have to teach. How we teach those standards is up to us. Different states/districts/schools might have different policies.
     
  4. Math

    Math Cohort

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    If people could teach what ever wouldn't there be some aerious issues with that? What if I wanted to go to college in Las Vegas?
     
  5. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    Well... no. There are standards that need to be followed. They are especially clear in math.

    http://www.corestandards.org/Math/Content/HSA/APR/

    As for if you'll learn this stuff in college, the answer is a resounding "no" for a future math teacher. People who don't major in math may learn it if they take a basic math course to satisfy the math gen ed requirement, but math majors start with calculus.
     
  6. Math

    Math Cohort

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    Hey Mike it has been quite some time... :hugs:

    My math teacher is the one who said it. Calculus 1 would be considered the lowest level math course that counts? Well at least I am assuming that is what you mean. I know a math teacher who did not start with Calculus purposefully. Also this would mean teaching myself the content. Which I take happens fairly often as no one remembers everything from elementary/middle/high school.
     
  7. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    In some subjects, there are standards. In others (esp in social sciences), there is more leeway. For instance, psychology is not a state-tested course, so the teachers can write their own curriculum (unless they're AP Psych). Of course, you'd hope they try to teach everything, not just what they like!
     
  8. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    It depends on the university, really. At my university, nothing below Calc 3 counted towards the math or math ed major. A majority of places will start the requirements with Calc 1, though.
     
  9. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    as a math teacher, I am bound to teach the standards. in some subjects (say geometry), we do not get to cover all the standards in the school year. so it's up to the teacher to decide which ones are most critical (either used in later classes or likely to be on EOC).

    the good news for you, I believe after you go through college level math classes, going back and reviewing/learning the stuff you didn't learn will be pretty straightforward. It would not be equivalent to teaching yourself high school math as a high school student. Best wishes and good luck (and pick the most rigorous college that you can - the more you push yourself in math, the better off you will be down the road)
     
  10. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    It really depends. In my class I have to teach a certain set of standards.That does not mean I have to teach XYZ from the book if I can find ABC from another source that covers the same basic material.

    And, I can teach anything related to the course above and beyond the standards.

    I had a parent complain once because I used the word "penis" when I taught a biology class. She looked up the standards and found no mention of the term at all. We do not even have standards covering organs and organ systems any longer. But we do have to teach about chromosomal abnormalities - one of which results in some men having enlarged breasts and small testicles and a small penis. Mom thought her 15 year old daughter was too young to hear a teacher talk so comfortably about such a thing!
     
  11. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    Many teachers (even on this board) resent the standards as telling them what a professional should have to do; they feel as if they know best what students need to learn and can disregard the standards and any formal/standardized assessments associated with them.
     
  12. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    This part is true. Unless told by the principal, a teacher can choose how they teach certain content in a subject. They could use the textbook, worksheets, activities etc.

    Teachers are not allowed to choose what is taught. This is decided by the school district in most situations. If polynomials must be taught in algebra, then the teacher must do so.

    Here is a loophole that some teachers end up not teaching something. Sometimes the amount of material required to be taught is not reasonably possible. Then a teacher often skips a bit of content. If it is major content, then I would be concerned. Most teachers in high school give a syllabus on what will be covered in the semester. Does your teacher do this?
     
  13. Math

    Math Cohort

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    There is/was no syllabus given to students at any point during the year. The teacher told us that we will cover Pre-Calc 1st and 4th marking period and Trig 2nd & 3rd.
     
  14. Math

    Math Cohort

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    I have only received a syllabus in middle school. I never had a high school teacher give one out.
     
  15. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    It is possible that your textbook doesn't correlate with your state standards. I've not taught high school, but in the elementary grades, it is rare to find a textbook that covers all the standards.

    Look up your state standards for your course to see if your teacher is skipping anything.
     
  16. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I'm so glad there are standards the teachers must hit, especially in math. When the teacher decides to do his or her own thing, it can be detrimental.

    The first time I took Geometry (and this explains why it took two tries), the teacher made the second half of it a Trigonometry course. We still hadn't had Algebra II at this point. My grades went from Cs to Fs, as did many of my friends'. I transferred to another school and retook the class with my tutor, using the same book, but ALL of it. Nothing lower than a B+ after that.

    Bear in mind, this was in the late 80s.
     
  17. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Mar 12, 2014

    I can teach what I want pretty much. I teach US History and World History and while there are state and district standards, none of my Admin is really worried about whether I am adhering to these. As long as I teach the right time frame (for example, US History's time frame is from the Reconstruction Era to the CRM so I can't teach about Ancient Greece); no one is really concerned about any of the daily specifics about what I teach.

    If I taught English, Math (specifically Algebra) or Biology, this would be much different because of state tests our HS have to pass in order to graduate. But, with teaching History, I have free reign to do as I please.
     

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