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 What courses are you teaching in 2007-2008?

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
sahsjing Posted - 08/26/2007 : 17:10:36
My school starts tomorrow. I am going to teach AP Calulus, Pre-Calculus, Physics and Chemistry in 2007-2008.
7   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
the_hill1962 Posted - 05/08/2008 : 09:45:57
A school that has 2000 students in 4 grades (say 9th-12th) would make about 500 per grade level. I taught in a school exactly that size and my schedule was to teach Algebra1 and Geometry. There were about 38 students per class so it took a long time grading papers.
Now I am in a very small school where there are only about 3 or 4 students per class but I teach all the math since I am the only H.S. math teacher. It doesn't take long to grade papers but doing lesson plans is time consuming because of all the courses. When I first started here, we had 6 different math courses so I had 6 different preps. As I mentioned in a previous post, I told administration that all we really needed to offer is Alg1, Alg2, Geom and Senior math tutoring (the advanced math students now take their courses online and I just tutor without having to prepare lessons). It is a great schedule.
I was at another small school where I had 7 preps (PreAlg, Alg1, Alg2, Geom, Physics, Computer Networking, Senior math tutoring). That was a nightmare because there were about 15 students per class. They finally hired a 2nd math teacher and we split the load. We were able to split the Alg2 class into two smaller ones also.
So, to answer your question: It really depends on what you like. I found it kind of boring teaching the same thing all day and with 28 students per class I really didn't get to know many students individually. Now I teach various things throughout the day and with only a few students per class, I get to know each of them very well. A drawback to small classes though is that if one student is not doing well and has failing grades, that is 1/3 of your class failing which administration does not like. In the larger school, it wasn't as difficult to justify one or two failing grades. There is an 'unwritten rule' in small schools that no students should have a failing grade. That makes it very difficult if there is a very weak student that finds abstract math concepts hard to grasp (I don't know what I am going to do with a girl that I have in Geometry that doesn't even grasp fractions yet----oh I have tried to get her up to speed but she just doesn't get it----I recommended Special Ed. but there are already two students in the lower grades that are in Special Ed. and administration says that our school already has over the 2% limit Special Ed.----you see, a large school with 2000 students can have several in Special Ed. but for a large school, that 2% works out to be just one or two students of which I am told is the state maximum guideline)
shaant Posted - 05/07/2008 : 20:55:55
Ah. Thanks for the reply. My school has 2000 kids (inner city New York) so I guess I get a biased view. Whoever says teaching isn't an art of sorts doesn't see just how variable it can be I guess. Although, I imagine by no means is my school anywhere near the norm. Is it harder to deal with having to prepare for twice to three times as many classes?
the_hill1962 Posted - 05/06/2008 : 10:37:15
Good question, shaant.
In very small schools, a teacher usually has a different subject every period because he/she may be the only math teacher. I teach at a school that has 4 9th grades, 3 10th graders, 5 11th graders and 2 12th graders. There just aren't enough students to warrant hiring more than one math teacher.
As for very large schools, sometimes a teacher has a schedule such that he/she teaches only one subject. Say the school has 800 students which is about 200 per grade level. 200 divided up into 7 periods in a day would mean about 28 or 29 students per classroom taking 9th grade math. Such a school could get by with 4 math teachers but would probably have more so that some students at each grade level could take more advanced courses than the average and there would be some remedial classes also...
quote:
Originally posted by shaant

Hello. I am a somewhat new member who is just browsing around. Is it normal to teach so many and so varied a course load? I teach only 2 levels (Algebra and Math B5, which is basically algebra 2) and no teacher in our school teaches more than 3 topics. I mean, I guess if you count after school stuff I also teach SAT prep, but still, even with that I only teach 3 topics. Basically, is it the norm in most schools to teach that many different classes?

shaant Posted - 05/05/2008 : 20:02:58
Hello. I am a somewhat new member who is just browsing around. Is it normal to teach so many and so varied a course load? I teach only 2 levels (Algebra and Math B5, which is basically algebra 2) and no teacher in our school teaches more than 3 topics. I mean, I guess if you count after school stuff I also teach SAT prep, but still, even with that I only teach 3 topics. Basically, is it the norm in most schools to teach that many different classes?
Mrspi Posted - 08/29/2007 : 09:34:12
Like David, I'm retired....and this is the time of year (when school starts) that I really appreciate that fact!

I spend a lot of time volunteering on several "math help" message boards, as well as doing "live tutoring" as a volunteer for pathwhelp.org, where I work with students from elementary school through pre-calc. I enjoy keeping active with both math and teaching, without having to deal with things like lesson plans, discipline, and hostile parents.

David, I'm awed at your contribution to cancer research!
the_hill1962 Posted - 08/29/2007 : 07:54:51
Wow, that is full schedule sahsjing! In my opinion, each of those courses count double (especially Physics and Chemisty since there are labs to set up). It is like you are teaching 8 things. In the past, I have taught 7 different courses (PreAlg, Alg1, Alg2, Geom, Physics, Computer Networking, Senior math tutoring) but I am now back to only 4.
I teach Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II and Math Models this year. If you are wondering what "Math Models" is, don't ask because even the state of Texas (where I teach) hasn't even been very clear on what the course is. Basically, I will be doing "story/word" problems that require Geometry and/or Algebra I/II.
My schedule is considered "half time" here. I told the administration that the "full time" here was too much (as I mentioned, 7 different courses).
sahsjing Posted - 08/28/2007 : 18:54:58
Thank you for sharing.
I spend most of my free time in College Board AP Calculus forum and answers.yahoo.com.

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