When Teachers Get Confused…

July 27, 2010 at 12:10 PM Leave a comment

by: Jennifer Perez

Yes, you heard correctly…teachers do, at times, get confused!  I was inspired to write this piece after attending a Math Training provided by my school district.  The Training was created to teach teachers NEW and engaging ways to teach our students how to “learn” Multiplication and Division. I entered the classroom armed with my brand new sharpened pencils and legal pad-eagerly waiting to take notes that would change my student’s lives! I cannot be more thrilled with the information learned at this training!  Not only did I learn some neat strategies to teach my students to use with Multiplication and Division, but I learned something about myself as well.

The scenario…

Once the content was presented to the teachers, we were numbered off into groups.  Our groups then circulated through a variety of Math Games that can/could be used with our students for enforcement of Multiplication and Division.  My partner and I reached our 1st destination….Multiplication Football.  It seemed like a really cutting edge concept~Football+Multiplication=Learning!? Or so we thought!

Excitedly, we took our manila folder to our seat and emptied the contents onto the desk’s surface.  Once all of the materials were organized in distinct piles, we began reading the directions for Multiplication Football.  After my 1st reading of the directions, I was completely lost!  Embarrassed to admit my confusion, I looked at my partner who glanced up at me with a look that said, “Huh?”  Knowing I wasn’t alone, I told my partner I had NO clue what the directions were asking.  We then re-read the directions for clarity… no such luck!  How could this be possible?  How could two teachers with a combined total of 14 years of teaching, not be able to understand the directions for Multiplication Football??  I still do not have the answer to this question!

The solution

My partner and I decided since we could not decipher the directions, we would go ahead and play the game how we ‘thought’ it should have been played!  The game, played our way, was enjoyable.  We both agreed it would be a benefit to our students to, but with a set of directions that would be student friendly!

Teachers getting confused….it happens!

I walked into this Professional Training hoping to learn valuable information that would benefit my students and I did!  What I wasn’t expecting was to learn that, “You know what?  I may not understand everything ALL the time and that’s ok!” As teachers, we have a tendency to believe we need to have the answers to everything.  This is a personal struggle of mine that was put to the test.

I plan on using this personal experience with my students this year to let them know that it’s ok to be confused at times!  It doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with them.  Maybe the directions just weren’t clear enough, as in my scenario.  Maybe the directions need to be read once more OR maybe as their teachers/parents we can provide a bit of clarification to avoid further frustration!

There you have it!  My name is Jennifer Perez….I am a teacher….and YES! Sometimes I get confused!!

Happy Learning!

© Jennifer Perez 7/27/10

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