LIFE-LONG LEARNING LABORATORY: L4

From: Mark Newman

Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2016 7:51 a.m.

To: Yvelyne Germain-McCarthy Subject: Greetings from an old student Dear Ms. Germain,

(My apologies, that is the only name I can use.)

You taught me at South Shore High School in the early ’80s. I see that life has taken you far from there. In the years since, I have also gotten a PhD, but in Applied Math, and am now on my second start-up in business analytics. I live in Manhattan, with my wife and 12-year-old daughter. Your fantastic teaching and care for your students have had great impact, certainly on me. If your schedule permits, it would give me great pleasure to get in touch.

My best, Mark

I received Mark’s e-mail while writing this chapter of the book, and I include it here because, in a nutshell, it speaks to a fundamental theme of the book: Mathematics teachers can have a positive impact on students’ mathematical understanding and disposition toward mathematics. Most of us do get expressions of appreciation from parents and students we teach, but it is rare, I think, to get one over 40 years later and . . . while we are still alive. Thank goodness for Google! What is needed to make such wonderful student-to-teacher communications much more common once our students are adults and reflect on how they came to be? This is a question to explore in the Life-Long Learning Laboratory (L4), which is a conceptual and safe space I’ve created to brainstorm issues critical to promoting equitable practices in our schools.

 
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