Understanding Content Beyond Your Grade Level

Imagine having a conference with your child’s 2nd grade teacher and the teacher says… “your child is doing really well in reading and a lot of her questions stretch my thinking”.  As a parent you’d become super stoked, proud of your child, and your chest begins to swell!

The conversation with the teacher continues and they say that they love teaching reading but they’re only comfortable teaching literacy “up to” 3rd grade because 4th and 5th grade reading gets a little scary!  You’re thinking that a teacher would never admit this to a parent or a colleague for that matter.

Now read this again… “your child is doing really well in math and a lot of her questions stretch my thinking.”  The conversation continues and they say they love teaching math but they’re only comfortable teaching “up to” 3rd grade because 4th and 5th grade math gets a little scary!  Sadly this does happen within our schools and it is an issue.

Not knowing or understanding content beyond your grade is ok (at this very moment), but not doing something about it from this point on isn’t.

As educators we must always be willing to listen, grow, and learn.

About gfletchy

K-8 math consumer trying to listen and learn each day. Stay thirsty my friends!
This entry was posted in Cheese Mover, Who Knows?. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Understanding Content Beyond Your Grade Level

  1. Jenise says:

    I have heard that statement so many times. It’s so disheartening to hear as a coach and a parent. The simple fix is taking the opportunity to make sense of the mathematics in those grade levels.

  2. ciors says:

    I have to agree, the resolution is as easy as doing some ‘learning’ ourselves – ie the teacher. Peer teaching, or peer planning with teachers in grades above is helpful. The reverse is also true – as a gr 5/6 teacher, I collaborate with teachers in our junior school to ensure my content is appropriate for the earlier classes. Life long learning is what teaching should be about.

  3. gfletchy says:

    I couldn’t agree more ciors and Jenise! I think about when I was a student back in the day and and think….WOW! Have times changes! I think when teachers become complacent they become boring. Boring is not what our students relate to!!!
    I have learned so much from the colleagues in my county because they always challenge my thinking. One thing my dad always said was to surround yourself around smarter and better company. Seems like I found my place!

    Thanks!

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