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The Imperfect and Unfinished Math Teacher [Grades K-12]

The Imperfect and Unfinished Math Teacher [Grades K-12]
A Journey to Reclaim Our Professional Growth

Steve Leinwand, The system won’t do it for us. But we have each other.

April 2022 | 248 pages | Corwin

The system won’t do it for us. But we have each other.

In The Imperfect and Unfinished Math Teacher: A Journey to Reclaim Our Professional Growth, master storyteller Chase Orton offers a vulnerable and courageous grassroots guide that leads K-12 math teachers through a journey to cultivate a more equitable, inclusive, and cohesive culture of professionalism for themselves…what he calls professional flourishment. The book builds from two bold premises. First, that as educators, we are all naturally imperfect and unfinished, and growth should be our constant goal. Second, that the last 40 years of top-down PD efforts in mathematics have rarely supplied teachers with what they need to equitably grow their practice and foster classrooms that are likewise empowered, inclusive, and cohesive.

With gentle humanity, this book inspires teachers to break down silos, observe each others’ classrooms, interrogate their own biases, and put students at the center of everything they do in the math classroom. This book:

  • Weaves raw and authentic stories—both personal and those from other educators—into a relatable and validating narrative
  • Offers interactive opportunities to self-reflect, build relationships, seek new vantage on our teaching by observing others’ classrooms and students, and share and listen to other’s stories and experiences
  • Asks teachers to give and accept grace as they work collaboratively to better themselves and the system from within, so that they can truly serve each of their students authentically and equitably

Implementing the beliefs and actions in this book will position teachers to become more active partners in each other’s professional growth so that they can navigate the obstacles in their professional landscape with renewed focus and a greater sense of individual and collective efficacy. It equips teachers—and by extension, their students—to chart their own course and author their own equitable and joyful mathematical and professional stories.

Introduction: Grace and the Art of Not Knowing
Chapter 1: The Need for a New Culture of Professionalism
Interlude 1: More Details about the Journey Ahead
Chapter 2: Professional Flourishment
Interlude 2: The Structured Activities on Our Journey
Chapter 3: Expanding Our Potential with Deliberate Practice
Interlude 3: Your Vision of Equity
Chapter 4: Creating Vantage to Test Beliefs
Interlude 4: What Is Your Teaching Story?
Chapter 5: Teaching Is a Cultural Activity
Interlude 5: What Is Your Math Story?
Chapter 6: Craving Nourishment
Interlude 6: How Do Your Students See You?
Chapter 7: The Steep Price of a Divided Life
Interlude 7: Why Is Math Class Not Working for Some of Your Students?
Chapter 8: A Window into a Story-Focused Math Class
Interlude 8: Actions to Position Learners as Capable
Chapter 9: Four Equity Actions for the Story-Focused Teacher
Interlude 9: Actions to Share Authority
Chapter 10: Establishing Learning Objectives in a Story-Focused Classroom
Interlude 10: Actions to Keep Math Stories Unfinished
Chapter 11: More Equity Actions for the Story-Focused Classroom
Interlude 11: The Journey Ahead
Epilogue: Further Still

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ISBN: 9781071841525