And I don't usually talk like that about teachers, so you KNOW I'm mad.
He's in 4th grade and they are using the "new" math. YES, I understand that it's important to be able to look at a problem in multiple ways. YES, I understand that they are trying to meet the needs of various learning styles...BUT they take it too damn far.
So - they're doing division...which in 4th grade is pretty much review. My son can divide with his hands tied behind his back and a blindfold on, OK? He 'gets' it. But he's not "allowed" to answer math problems using the traditional way - oooohhh nooo - this is the 21st century folks! We MUST change the way we complete problems for the good of humanity - do you hear me?! (ugh)
So - he had 2 pages of division problems which he completed in about 5 minutes the 'normal' way. BUT, the directions were to estimate the partial quotients - write them out - then draw a rectangle - then visually represent your partial quotients in the rectangle - then add the partial quotients for the answer. So, after doing a couple of these he got it - but it's a MUCH longer process for him. His mind doesn't work with pictures - he's more analytical. So, what should have taken a few minutes ended up taking all night.
Anyway - this has been happening all year. Where he once LOVED math - he now hates it and dreads that time of the day.
I talked with his teacher about it today - and since I'm trying to keep this short I'll try to just give the highlights.
- I explained that while I understood the importance of learning additional methods, once understanding was demonstrated, they should be able to use whichever method works best for them - they shouldn't be forced to do EVERYTHING with these new methods
- She said "well, we have to teach it this way so they'll know what to do on the common core or state tests"
- I said "your responsibility as a teacher is to teach my CHILD and to help bolster his weaknesses and build on his strengths - not to teach to a few test questions"
- She said if I ever wanted him to get a scholarship to college, I should just let it go (huh? what??)
- I said I can fund college just fine thanks and that's not the point. I then reiterated his newfound hatred of math because of all of this and the fact that he works really hard to keep an A average yet he's getting penalized for getting the RIGHT answer because he used the "wrong" method - and that's just not right
- She said he shouldn't be worried about his grade - after all even if he gets A's now he won't as he gets older. YES. SHE ACTUALLY SAID THAT.
- I told her I only ask for my kids to do their best - and so far their best is "A's" and they KNOW what they're capable of - why wouldn't they continually strive to keep A's?
- She said it's just not practical.
- I informed her that my high schooler in honors classes is still straight A's and I encourage my kids to be their very best - what kind of teacher tells them they're going to get bad grades anyway so don't bother trying?!?!
- THEN she said to "just wait until my kids get to college and get their first "C" and they won't know how to handle it because of my job as a parent. (steam coming out of ears now)
She then said if I have a problem with it I can go over her head, but it won't do any good because nothing will change.
I thanked her for completely killing any love my child had for math and for trampling his spirit and hung up.
So how was YOUR day?