So, last night, in my Algebraic Structures class (Modern Algebra), my teacher called out MY teaching skills. The situation went like this:
There was one student at the board trying to work out a problem. I was on the next of three problems assigned in class. She asked if I could help out, since no one in the class seemed to know the next step.
I glanced up, to see where she was, but she was directly in front of me, obstructing my view of the board. I used that little trick where you try to recall the last things you heard in the background before your full attention was gained. (It’s a skill I honed in the many boring high school classes I took.).
I said, “Undistribute?”. Well, more like I asked. Anyhow, she jumped all over this terminology calling it “factoring”. I agreed, and told her it was just something I commonly told my kids so they would remember what they were doing.
She said that I should not teach them that and that they need to know that it’s called factoring. I guess because she’s got a “PHD after her name”, she’s qualified to tell me what does and does not work in a high school classroom.
(For the record, she is the absolute WORST teacher I have EVER had in my life. She explains nothing. She is impatient with us. And she’s just plain mean to us. Everyone in class.)
And another “for the record” — I do teach my kids that it’s called Factoring. I just explain that this method of factoring is like undistributing something. So they can see the relationship between factoring and the distributive property. Because that’s what good teaching does. Helps them to UNDERSTAND. Not just memorize for the test. Suprised I know that, considering I’m PHD-less.
Anyways. She’s stupid. And that’s my story.