Why Expensive Textbooks & Programs are not Used in a Classroom
Three years ago, I was given an expensive set of textbooks for my HS self-contained Math class.
- Was it standards based? Yes.
- Did it use real world examples? Yes.
- Was there differentiation recommendations? Yes
But I barely used it as it is. Let me tell you why.
Zoom In/Out to Get the Reasons Why
Let’s use a common computer gesture to get the reasons why.
- Zoom In my class details to see the mismatch:
- My class is 80 minutes. The book’s activities can be done in 15 minutes or less. I need more.
- The book activities are either too hard or too easy for my students. I still have to modify it.
- Zoom Out to School Requirements
- My principal required everyone to implement a program that is incompatible with the textbook. I need to find something that will interest the students and satisfy his requirement.
- My teaching evaluation rubrics are asking for something that the book will not provide. I needed to create something that will increase my chances of getting high marks.
There are more reasons, but let these few sink in.
Teachers Match Resources with Current Classroom Needs
Classroom needs vary, yearly, monthly, weekly, daily and even every minute. Teachers thrive in the classroom when they get the hang of changing their lesson delivery to match whatever the students need. Textbooks and educational programs are static. Even expensive ones. They don’t respond to change. Teachers can. They know how to mix-and-match different resources and make it work.
What will Really Work? It depends on YOU
So what materials and resources will work in the classroom? We don’t know until the students come. Even if you teach the same subject each year, you need to change your approach based on the students’ needs. That is why you have to start with YOU — Your Own Understanding of your classroom, your students, your school.
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