When we had all finished the problem we reconvened as a group. The person leading the meeting asked us "is this a fair question for our students?" I looked around me and saw 18 stone faces... and saw one of them began to speak. He said "No. Our students can't think like this." Others nodded in agreement. I sat with a perplexed look on my face and timidly raised my hand. I mentioned how I had given my students a problem that looked almost exactly the same, however as this was supposed to be a summative assessment, I used my activity as a precursor to a unit on percents. I mentioned how our students can absolutely think like this, and that the more we push them to actually do the thinking, the more likely our students will be to think. The co-presenter was sort of amazed that I would speak up about this, but agreed with me.

I left the meeting in awe... if such a small fraction of our district's math teachers felt this way, I wondered how the others felt. How many of us actually have faith in our students? I'm quite disturbed over the prospect that most of the teachers in our district don't have faith in our kids.

I left the meeting in awe... if such a small fraction of our district's math teachers felt this way, I wondered how the others felt. How many of us actually have faith in our students? I'm quite disturbed over the prospect that most of the teachers in our district don't have faith in our kids.