Just after I pushed “publish” on the last post, I realized what I really wanted to say.
In our system, once you’re over four feet tall, it’s not okay to be a beginner at math. It’s not okay to come late to the party. There’s what seniors in high school should know, and if you don’t know that, then you’re behind. And if you’re my students, you’re not just behind, you’re the Achievement Gap.
And it’s not okay. Because students who are on track in math and who score well have more choices and get more encouragement and support. They do. So the ones that don’t, don’t get the same shot. Whatever the causes of that, there are not good reasons for that.
At the same time, it has to be okay. It has to be okay, in my room, to be where you are, and to take your time thinking about the things that interest and challenge you now, at whatever level of intuition you’ve developed. Because for me to hand you everything you should have by now and expect you to carry it forward without dropping it, just doesn’t work. If you’re a beginner, why would you want to be involved in anything where you are not welcome to be a beginner?