I’m conflicted about a course I’m teaching. Since we are on a trimester schedule, I just started a new term right before election day. I have a sweet deal going on this term–all Seniors, all courses that will yield college credit, pending successful completion and/or success on a test. AP statistics is going wonderfully well (lots of thanks to @druinok for all her help with it) and Intro to Education is a continuation from the first term. I don’t know that I’m giving them a true college experience, but they are getting into classrooms completing observations and we’re doing a lot of talking about issues currently affecting education. All-in-all I give myself a B in there. But, then there’s college algebra.
On one hand, I have better long term plans in there than in any other course now or ever before. I was able to present them with a calendar for the whole term with every section scheduled and homework assignments already made out. Before I receive a ton of hate-mail, I don’t necessarily think this is the best thing, but based on everything I’ve been given from the community college I’m aligned with, this is the norm for their courses. My directive is to present my students with an class as close to what they would receive if they were on the college campus as possible. So I obliged.
The college uses an online program for all/most of the homework assignments. Students get multiple chances to get a problem correct, and have a plethora of resources at their disposal if they desire extra help or tutoring. Please, let’s not debate the fallacies of online programs…again, I’m trying to make my course like college. They told me that is what they do, so I obliged.
I cannot give my students the same schedule. I see my kids every day, the comm. college only sees them 2-3 days a week. I have my kids for 70 minutes. CC has them for 50.
Here’s where I’m struggling. I do have a bit of extra time. I see them everyday. I HATE direct teaching-at least I hate doing it every day for the whole period. I’m not dissing CC instructors–ya’ll are teaching in a completely different world than me. I’m trying to shove my seniors into your world. But they are still seniors. And I am still me. I like groupwork. I like interaction in my classroom. I like activities. How can I marry the stuff I like (and, honestly, the stuff that I think helps kids get some meaning from the math) with the community college experience I’m supposed to be offering?
Any suggestions will be appreciated and considered.