I picked up a new class of 40 students today. This class is called “Math Tutoring” or “Math Lab”, depending on who you talk to. The students in this class are concurrently enrolled in another math class and the idea is that they take an additional period of math to help them do better. I’m a bit hazy on what exactly is supposed to be accomplished in this class besides that or how I am supposed to go about doing that, and most other teachers are telling me I can do what I want. There’s no assigned textbook, no curriculum. I probably am not supposed to run the class as a place where students do their homework, however.
The part of me that likes structure and well-defined tasks is very uncomfortable with the vagueness of the whole thing, but I should look at it positively and see it as a chance to do something creative.
One challenge is that some students are taking Algebra 1, some Algebra 2. They are taking math from a variety of different teachers, so even those in Algebra 1 will not likely be learning the same thing at the same time. How to make sure that they are all getting something that motivates, interests and is actually helpful to them? I also don’t want to do things that will steal thunder away from their math teachers. If I divide the class into two groups and plan two activities or lessons, that would be double the work…. Ugh.