Special Edition- By Kenzie
It’s almost time to choose students classes for next year! The math department offers various different choices to help support every student’s learning style. There are 12 different math classes and 4 separate math lab classes if students need extra help. All math classes start at 5th grade and go up to 12th.
Multiple teachers have proposed new classes to teach next year as well as continuing to teach the same classes as this year.
There are new math opportunities coming every year!
Every year around January teachers have the opportunity to purpose new classes that they would like to teach next year. Their proposal will go into consideration and if the school thinks it is a good idea, enough students will sign up for it, and if we have the budget for it they will put it in the new class schedule for next year.
“I proposed to get a once a week family math they call it but its gonna focus on games that kids can play to help reinforce learning the skill or practice the skill it’s more for practice. For instance maybe they’re working on simplifying fractions, maybe they’re working on multiplication, what the idea is to give them games or activities to reinforce whatever they’re learning.” Said David Toth
All of our teacher have lots of experience.
Deborah Whittet, one of the high school math teachers, says she changes up the ways she teaches every year, depending on the who’s in the class and what they need. Whittet has been teaching for 37 years, she has taught at Clackamas Community College (CCC), Concordia University, and did her student teaching at Tigard High School. “ I always knew I wanted to be a teacher but, I didn’t know I wanted to teach math. I thought I was gonna be a elementary teacher but I had trouble with math in high school and I to really really work hard at it and by the time i finished all my high school math classes I realized gosh I feel like I understand this enough that I could maybe teach it and so that’s kinda what started me going down the path of math education for high school “
David Toth, one of the elementary math teachers, has been teaching math for 18 years.
The school Toth worked at previously was socially, economically at the bottom, all their scores were dire and kids were not learning. They underwent about 10 years of transformation, whereas a school all they did was apply what worked, so they took effective practices that helped kids learn. One of the areas they did really well in was in math. So, over several years they went from being the lowest performing schools to tieing and sometimes beating the highest performing school in the district. They just had a lot of success in that area. “So, when I came here because I homeschool as well as I had all this math experience and experience in turning schools around in this way, they interested in this job for me. So, it kinda started there, but slowly became what it is today.” Said Toth
Each teacher is great at understanding and helping because everyone has a time when they don’t understand something, math can be very confusing. Some parents also choose to teach math at home like Amy Purcell, a mother of 3 kids ages 17, 11 and 9. “I like it, it gets me involved to see where they’re at and we get to solve it together.”
Math department staff make recommendations on which math class they think a student should sign up for based on where they think that student is in their math education. Students would have to indicate readiness by demonstrating proficiency in placement tests, in order to override those recommendations.