Matt Leader’s 8th grade and Dave Corner’s 11th grade math students collaborate in a cross school math mentorship.
[MUSIC PLAYING] As a teacher, teaching them math changed from being this huge ginormous problem that I’m used to it. In my math class, I’m used it’s like me versus math, and it’s this big struggle that makes my head hurt and stuff. But being a teacher kind of changed it where it’s a tool that you use to find certain things such as the length of a line.
So we have a launch that will last about five minutes. They take notes with that. And then there’s an explorer period, which is about 20, 30 minutes a day. And even in that first hour, their role is to work with a certain number of kids in helping them to do the math problems. And then during the discussion, which is the last 10, 15 minutes of the day, they are supposed to participate in the discussion to ask students.
The second hour of that, though, it’ll be another group of kids. They take on a little bit more role, so they actually co-teach that first launch and are as involved with explorer but then kind of co-teach the decision. It’s been a big learning process as each different pairs come in, what works and what you can let students take and whatnot.
Eighth grade wasn’t that long ago for them. If you talk with them and they can sort of connect with the idea of the struggles of what’s going on, it’s really interesting to see, because being once in their position, I understand the struggles where like, I totally remember going over this stuff and being like, what the heck is going on?
They kind of know where we are at, and they’ve been there pretty recently. And so they know what it feels like to be struggling or feeling good about that.
They’re really good about never giving up. They don’t give up easily. If there’s anything challenging, they’re very good about asking for help or asking questions so that they can themselves look for the answer. So it’s just a great community that we have here at High Tech.
A lot of my classmates who are kind of shy to have a new person in their classroom at first. And I was kind of shy as well, but I feel like after a while, we all gotten used to having different people in our classrooms, and it was easier to ask them questions.
Being patient with the kids when they were trying to learn taught me to be patient with myself, so that’s definitely one way that I changed my perspective on that.
But now I see things as a teacher kind of. I look at how I would help a student get through it, so look at the smaller picture and then help them expand it to the big picture.
I was totally confused with the subject, and I had no idea what was going on, but he helped me and kind of roughly move through it. And he was just really understandable. Some people have different viewpoints than others.
Some might think of it better through visually. Some might think about things better through vocally. So I mean, it was a good idea having them around, because one high schooler might be able to show it this way, but someone else might be able to show it another way because we all have our own viewpoints on things.