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Novice vs. Expert

What is the difference between an expert math teacher and a novice math teacher? A "now discontinued" U.S. Dept. of Ed. Bulletin once tried to answer this question using research from the University of Pittsburgh.

First, expert teachers maximize their use of classroom time for math instruction rather than in bothersome management tasks. Experts pass out papers in less than 30 seconds, while novices take 4 minutes. Also, experts can help students correct daily homework in 2-3 minutes, while novices take up to 15 minutes.

Second, experts outperform novices in both the organization of a lesson sequence and their ability to help students understand what they are learning.

And third, experts know mathematics so well that they can predict student difficulties and organize materials that will help overcome learning difficulties.

I wish things were this straightforward or precise! Sometimes I need to spend more time not correcting homework but exploring nuances and checking on student understandings. Often my "grand" lesson plans fall apart when students need additional experiences to learn new concepts or I decide to follow a rich tangent opportunity. And, sometimes I find I don't know math very well when a student asks an off-the-wall-but-great question.

So, I guess I will continue as "grow" as a novice math teacher until I retire...and perhaps you will do the same!