Joe: How’s the, uh, how’s the new school year goin’? I know you just started it up again.
Richard: Uh, yeah, it’s off to a rough start.
Joe: Why so?
Richard: Uh, we have a new reading program, um…. It’s called Reader’s Workshop, um, and a new math program, Everyday Math, so a lot of prep work. Yesterday I was at school from about 9, 9 until 2…
Richard: Yeah, getting stuff ready. There’s just a lot of preparation for launching the math program.
Joe: It sounds like you’re probably starting from scratch because… Richard: It is…
Joe: …you’re used to teaching the…
Joe: …same methodologies before.
Richard: Right, so, we, the last math series that we had, we had for, um, four years. Joe: Uh-huh.
Richard: And, so, y’know, it was like easy to teach. Y’know, I didn’t need to do any prep stuff for it. Y’know…
Richard: I knew what I was going to do from day to day…
Richard: …and now, tomorrow’s Monday and we’re launching the program. So it’s lesson one and I don’t know what I’m doing [laugh].
Joe: If it’s not enough to keep your eyes on the kids
the whole time, now…
Joe: …you gotta also be wondering, oh, y’know, am I, am I delivering this new methodology correctly.
Richard: Right. Because I, because I want to, I want to teach it as though I know what I’m doing.
Richard: So, I don’t want to come across as I’m stumbling for, y’know, my words or stumbling for what comes next, so…
Joe: Have the kids been into it so far?
Richard: So far, yeah. Um, right now we’ve just been doing a lot of, um, exploration. So there’s a lot of math tools that we just give them time to play around with so that when we actually teach the lesson, um…. They’re focused on what we’re doing and not focused on, y’know, that they have counting bears in front of them or coins in front of them, so…
Richard: …so they just need a lot of time to play around with the tools. We call them tools, I mean they think of them as toys, but…
Richard: …exactly. So, and, but they need that, y’know. It’s the same with like a new book, y’know. I just give them time to page through it. Otherwise if I’m on page 2, they’re on page 102, looking at y’know, something completely not related to what we’re… what I’m teaching, so.
Joe: Right, yeah.
Richard: But, y’know, it’s the same with me. When I think about myself being in a class if I have a book in front of me. If I’ve already seen the page that I’m on,
I’m gonna flip, y’know, forward in the pages and look for what’s coming next.
Joe: Especially if the kids have pictures to look at, and it…
Joe: …it draws their eye.
Richard: Yeah, and they’re constantly, y’know…. Like I’m teaching one lesson, they’re on completely different page saying “hey, look at this, look at this” and it has nothing, y’know…. It’s a future lesson.
Joe: Yeah, once they’ve made up their mind to do something it’s, y’know…. Whether it’s looking at a page ahead of the, y’know, ahead of the teacher or not. It’s, y’know, it’s difficult to get them to change.