The Essential Guide to Navigating Your First Years of Teaching Secondary Mathematics
You just signed your first contract to teach secondary math. You’re excited, but you probably have many questions and concerns:
- What do I do when students don’t “get” the lesson?
- How can I help students who struggle with math that they supposedly learned in elementary school?
- How do I arrange for students who are absent to make up the work?
- Do I assign seating or let students choose their seats?
- Should I have students work in groups?
- How much homework should I assign—and how much should I grade?
Though you may envision your classroom as a place where students engage with mathematics and learn important content, you may also worry about how your teaching will actually play out—how you and your students will interact and what they will learn. Based on classroom observations and interviews with seasoned and beginning teachers, this highly useful book offers valuable suggestions to improve your teaching and your students’ opportunities to learn.
The authors explore both the visible and invisible aspects of teaching and offer proven strategies to make the work meaningful—not merely manageable. Success from the start means being prepared from the start. This book not only teaches you how to be an effective math teacher but also gives you the tools to do it well.
Praise for Success from the Start: Your First Years Teaching Secondary Mathematics:
“Too much advice for teachers is either too abstract to be useful or consists of cute ideas for tomorrow that offer no lasting support. Wieman and Arbaugh hit the coveted middle ground—practical ideas for teachers drawn from sound principles of learning and teaching. Because their focus is directly on middle and secondary school mathematics, they have produced a rare practical guide for upper-grade teachers that is easily accessible and rewardingly substantive. Middle and high school math teachers who want to improve their teaching, with the Common Core State Standards in mind, cannot go wrong by reading this book, cover to cover.”—James Hiebert, University of Delaware
“In Success from the Start, Wieman and Arbaugh provide a comprehensive toolbox of practices, techniques, and advice for secondary mathematics teachers who are just starting out. While the book is focused on the beginning teacher, it will be a go-to reference teachers can actively continue to draw from even after their early days. “—Jay Altman, Cofounder and CEO, First line Schools New Orleans, Louisiana
“An upbeat and useful book for being a great mathematics teacher. Just as in mathematics we connect concrete situations to abstract concepts, Success from the Start uses concrete classroom vignettes and examples to make important big ideas of effective mathematics teaching visible and doable. From what routines need to be established (and how to do them), to making groups work (and other classroom management ideas), to discussion strategies that engage students in sharing their ideas, the book offers a signi¬ cant collection of pragmatic strategies essential for new teachers—but certainly valuable to all teachers.”—Jennifer Bay-Williams, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky Past President, Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators
About the Authors:
Rob Wieman is an assistant professor of teacher education at Rowan University. Rob worked as a teacher and math coach in the New York City public schools for twelve years before getting his Ph.D. in 2012 at the University of Delaware. Rob has also worked as a private consultant and curriculum adviser with teachers, schools, and networks for schools looking to improve mathematics teaching and learning.
Fran Arbaugh is an associate professor of mathematics education at Penn State University. A former high school math teacher, Fran received an M.Ed in secondary mathematics education from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1996 and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction (mathematics education) from Indiana University–Bloomington in 2000. Fran is president of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators.