Getting Around

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Exponents Padlet

We're starting a short unit on exponents. We encourage the students to use Khan Academy and other online resources to learn and practice whenever they can, but kids have trouble finding the right things to look at online. Now I've created a Padlet wall that has the KA links to the exponent topics we're studying this year. I wish I was better at making things look nice, but at least it's all in one place.

I've used LiveBinders to organize links before, but my lack of decorating ability made it super ugly. I'm hoping this Padlet business is at least a little nicer to look at. I've also tried linking from my website (no one looked but other teachers or if I made kids do it in class) and from various places in My Big Campus. MBC has been a huge disappointment to me both last year and this, so I'm abandoning it for now.

Friday, September 20, 2013

An Open Letter to the Trapezoid Kid

Dear 7th Grader With a Love of the Trapezoid Formula,

I love your work. Your mathematical mischief brings me joy each time you use the "wrong" shape formula to get the correct answer.

Oh, did you think I wouldn't get the joke?  Even if I didn't, the smiley faces and exclamation marks would have tipped me off. I keep looking at your papers to take the edge of grading all the other ones.

Yes, I am aware that the trapezoid formula can be used in a variety of situations to find shape area if you know what you're doing. That's why I love your work so much. It shows me that you have a deeper understanding of what you're doing than the average plug-and-chugger. Even if it didn't, the elaborate shape schematics would have told me so.

So now: How would you like to be challenged? Is it time to show you how to PROVE that what you're doing is mathematically legal? Do you just want to do some more complicated arithmetic tricks? Or are you interested in learning something completely different? You aren't quite ready to be moved into a more advanced math class, but I don't want you bored.

And how do I let you do that without making the rest of the class feel like a bunch of losers?

And one more thing, though I hate to even bring it up. Please save your playful spirit for class. Don't share it on the standardized test later in the year. I'm not sure a tired, underpaid, overworked test grader will view your cleverness in the same light I do. I can't believe I'm even worrying about this, but I don't want anyone, anywhere, to crush your spirit.

Off to make some composite shapes with hidden trapezoids, just for you...

Sunday, July 21, 2013

My Naked Classroom - HELP!

Hard to believe, but I'm two weeks away from the beginning of my school year.  I should be able to get back in the building sometime this week, so I've been thinking about my room.  I didn't get my room until after the school year started last year, so it spent most of the year being undecorated except with student work.  I am very, very bad at decorating, as anyone who has been to my house can attest.

I need help!

Here are some pictures of my classroom.  What would you do with it?  The only true restrictions are that the lab tables cannot be moved and my desk can only be rotated but not moved away from its area.  Oh, and nothing highly flammable near the lab tables, since I do teach science for part of the day.  Both bookcases can be moved, but I don't think the glass case by the cabinets can.

View from the back of the room. The cork board hangs behind where I sit when the students aren't there (who has time to sit when they ARE there?):

View of the entry.  The screen on that wall is unused, but it's unclear at this point if I'll be allowed to have it taken down:

View of the way back:

The wall of cabinets, mostly filled with previous teachers' stuff: 

The big, blank wall.  The eye wash station messes the spaciousness of it up a bit and the TV in the corner hasn't worked in years. I had been keeping turn-in folders and supplies on a desk along the wall so people weren't always walking over to the bookcase by my desk, but I'm not married to that:

I had been thinking I might get some cheap Asian-inspired screens to put between the two parts of the room to make it feel cozier when we're only in the front part, but I'm not sure if that's making more work for myself.

I am not into foofy decorations.  I like stuff to be useful or to show evidence of learning.  I'm hoping to use a lot of anchor charts this year since I scored a sticky easel pad from a friend over the summer (only ELA teachers get them at my school).

I had a wish that someone would make me a flannel coordinate plane that I could use like a giant feltboard on the large wall, but I haven't convinced anyone that I need it badly enough.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

How Do You Know That?

In math and science we try to get kids to use evidence to explain their thinking. We'll ask how they know something, what evidence they have to support their assertion, or we might provide a sentence starter of some kind. We seek to make this a habit, and now I have evidence that, for some people, it really is a habit.

I had the pleasure of taking a car trip with two friends who also happen to be professional astronomers. As we were discussing how the gravel road we were traveling on in a backwoods area was no longer going to be maintained by the county, I mentioned that the mapping software I used to make an alternate route to our destination suggested that a different road than the one we were on was a better choice for our trip anyway. But the map had no indication of what type of roads the other route used.

Have you ever traveled a gravel road for any length of time? Your brain starts vibrating after awhile. We were at that point.

Both of my friends were relatively new to the area, so I was surprised when the husband remarked that all the roads off the main road were gravel, so he couldn't see how a route that goes farther away from our destination and then returns could take less time. I was quietly wondering how someone new to the area knew this, since there's no reason to travel on this gravel road except to go to our destination, to which he had only been once before. But, since he's a smart guy and he was doing the driving, I kept that slightly challenging thought to myself.

And then his wife quietly asked, "How do you know that?"*

Aha! This particular habit of mind appears even in her personal life!

The question is, how to we make this a habit for our students? I have no answers, but now I know it's possible and I have a real-world observation with which to support my assertion.

* For those who are curious, it turns out that my friend is also an avid cyclist. Biking down the main road, he was frustrated to find that every turn was onto a gravel road. While we cannot assume that some of those roads don't turn into paved roads further in the forest, it does seem unlikely given what little is back there.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

It's Clear Math Teachers are Feeling Rested When...

they start blogging again.  Either that, or they all went to Twitter Math Camp and this is their homework.  Amazing how many posts have gone up in the last week or so.  It's nice to hear all the voices again.

I love it.  My mentor and I have already started setting out our plan for the next year.  It's so refreshing to work with someone who doesn't love a pacing guide.  We've got a mathematical theme (everything's going to be related to basic geometry), a progression that makes some sense, and a plan to try to create a mathematical community that spans across classrooms.  It feels good.

I go back to school in less than a month.  I realize some of you are still working off the end of your years, and I'm a little jealous.  But I'm also excited to be planning!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Pro-Solution, Not Anti-Reform

I'm not sure what did it, but something sent me in a rage this morning about the anti-reform movement in education. Before you flame me, hear me out.

People who know me personally know that I don't care to teach to the test. I am a firm believer in teaching what I'm supposed to teach in the most engaging manner I can that respects each student's learning needs. I'm not a huge fan of the standardized tests we have now, and I have little faith that the new ones coming with CCSS will be any better.

I tell my students that complaints will get them nowhere. They need to be looking for solutions, no matter how frustrating that is. I am tired of all the complaining in the anti-reform movement. It's time to come up with student-centered solutions.

Putting my money where my mouth is, here's my stab. Just a place to get the conversation going.


We need to give up on the "or" attitude. It's time to look for an "and" attitude. As in, "I know we need to allow children to construct their own meaning in their own time, AND I respect your need to make sure the children we send out in the world can actually read." We don't have to choose one, we need to find some moderation that helps children learn to function in this world.

Change is not always bad, people, and if we don't try we'll never know if there's a better way.


I have no problem with standards. In fact, they guide me in what students should learn. But we need to understand that writing MORE standards does not make them "rigorous."  It just makes them impossible. My own state has math standards a mile wide and an inch deep. Our state politicians are reconsidering the CCSS because our standards are more "rigorous." But numerous does not equal rigorous on the ground. What those politicians don't understand is that students cannot possibly learn all the standards in any given year because there are too many and they're too unconnected. Note that I didn't say I couldn't cover them. I can. But most of my students are not able to move that quickly. So whether I cover them or our district decides which ones are most important so I have some focus, my students are not learning them all. For me, CCSS is a step in a more sane direction. Not perfect, but an attempt to move toward better. They are better sequenced and deeper than our state standards, which aren't really that bad, just too many.


I respect the need of the people who send money to my school district to know that their money is producing an educated citizenry. So, I offer a few changes to testing:

Have teachers write the tests. 

That sounds crazy, but I'd be happy to contribute to a bank of questions based on the standards that some fancy-pants, highly-paid non-educator can then turn into tests. It means less centralized control but more input from the people who are actually teaching the stuff that's tested. We have the technology, we can build this. Heck, I used to write systems to do this kind of collaborate work for businesses, and I'm no genius.

Don't evaluate everyone every year. 

We have a cutoff for passing. I say, have a cutoff for skipping. If you get above some certain score on your multiple choice test (which should be much higher than the passing cutoff), you can skip testing for a year or two. I need to focus on the kids who need remediation. I know who those kids are and it's fair to evaluate how much farther they need to go on a regular basis. Testing everyone all the time doesn't tell me that and wastes resources. While everyone else is testing, these top kids should be working on an interdisciplinary problem that will provide their teachers with the QUALITATIVE data that current standardized testing can't. Don't whine to me about logistics on this. Where there's a will, there's a way, and you know it.

Use some task-based testing. 

Yes, this is hard to design and evaluate in a standardized fashion, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't attempt it. No one will EVER walk up to my students in the street, provide them with the dimensions of their garden, and ask how many tiles they should buy for the perimeter. But their grandmothers might ask for help with an actual garden and only an idea of what the end result should be. We can get all sorts of data from actual, real-world tasks (I am NOT talking about ridiculous, so-called, real-world word problems) beyond whether they've learned the standards that will help us help whole children learn.

Use tests in the manner for which they were designed. 

Standardized tests right now are not really designed to assess if teachers did a good job. I'd argue they also don't necessarily test whether students have mastered the standards, but that's a rant for another day. If we want to evaluate teachers based on tests that students take, someone smarter than I am will have to build a more appropriate test. I don't mind being evaluated by my students' performance, but I do mind being evaluated by an inappropriate tool for that job.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summer PD

I'm sure everyone is planning or starting their summer PD.  Just for fun, here's my list:

1. PLC training.  This training is a local linkup of a training going on elsewhere.  Since I'm new to the district and I haven't had formal PLC training yet, I thought this would be good for me to do.  Several of my colleagues will be at this training with me, so I won't be alone.

2. Creative Computing Online Workshop.  This workshop is 6 weeks of creative computing activities run asynchronously with the organizers.  It is free, and I'm pretty sure you can join late even though it started yesterday.  They are using Scratch as the programming language, which is pretty easy to pick up.  I also like that I can do this on my own time, when I have time.

3. ARRL Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology.  This course covers several of our physics standards.  It's paid for by a grant, and while I will eat some of the cost because I have to travel more than halfway across the country, I think it will be fun and worth it.

In addition to all this, I need to finish my capstone project for my master's.  And clean the house.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Did you Differentiate?

Some reflections on the past few weeks:

Worksheet Hell Works For Some
After I threatened to make worksheets, we did them. Some of the kids preferred them! It turns out that my kids with behavioral issues preferred the security of knowing exactly what to do. Hmmmm. My other kids were miserable, but this class is about 2/3 difficult and it was nice to have a peaceful period, so help me (GUILT GUILT GUILT).

Differentiation Can Work For Short Bits of Time
We have double periods for a couple of weeks so that we can do the state standardized tests and so I decided we'd remediate and retest the last set of standards. The kids who mastered all the standards got out their iPads and began doing online practice for our next topic, integers, in the back of the room (I'm in a science room with lab space). I told them that they couldn't watch any videos because some kids would be testing and that they had to use trial and error to see if they could figure out the rules regarding integers.

The kids doing remediation (another packet) worked really hard. Most of them did well and I was able to spend a few minutes one on one with each kid as I went around the room.

The kids moving ahead did very well too. By the time everyone had finished their retakes I had two kids who had worked through absolute value, addition, subtraction, and had figured out that two negatives multiplied together make a positive. I did not work with this group at all other than to make sure their technology was working. When we debriefed at the end of the period a few of them were so fired up they planned on working on integers at home with friends.

Some Kids Aren't Ready For Freedom (This Makes Me Cry)
As the remediation kids finished their retests they got their iPads to begin work on integers. Here is where it started going south. These kids had trouble focusing on the task. Many of my kids who are behind in math are also my behavior challenges (I see you all nodding there). As soon as a enough of them got to the iPads I ran out of classroom space to keep them separated, which seems to be part of the key with them. I ended up making everyone move back to their desks as soon as the last retest was finished. I had to take one kid's iPad away for working on an unapproved website.

The Upshot
I am trying to figure out how to give my mature students more freedom to make choices and move ahead at their own pace. At the same time, my kids with behavioral challenges seem to thrive in more controlled and scripted environments. When I asked another teacher how to do this, she said, "When you figure it out, let me know!" Not really the response I was looking for.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Miss Nelson is Missing!

I came across this video of one of my favorite books when I was a kid, Miss Nelson is Missing!, by Harry G. Allard. It strikes a chord with me because in my math class right now I feel like Viola Swamp, who I imagine was a worksheet packet kind of teacher. I hope to turn back into Miss Nelson someday.  If you remember the book, you'll love this adaptation by a class of Kindergarteners.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Behaviorally Overly Ambitious

My morning math class has been struggling with behavior this year. For whatever reason, I get the kids who move into the district. They tend to be lower-skilled students, since a move into our school is often the latest in a long line of moves. Such moves disrupt their education. At some point, they learn that there aren't very many benefits to being a good student since all that work counts for nothing at their next school.

Disengaged kids become bored kids who tend to get into trouble.

It had gotten so bad it was almost impossible to teach. The last straw was the day class was interrupted 10 times in 46 minutes, mostly for students in my class being called to the office to be told they would be serving a working lunch because of all the assignments they had missing from my class...the one they were just pulled out of.  *sigh*

I had had enough.

So this week I rebooted the class on the advice of a colleague. We practiced walking into the class. We practiced raising our hands to talk*. We practiced working with a partner.

The rest of the week I had to have them walk into class multiple times. If they didn't get it in a way that supported the learning environment, we practiced it until they got it.  A few of my trouble makers were out frequently this week, so class time was mostly OK and I only had to remind them to raise their hands rather than do another lesson on hand raising.

Then yesterday I got bold. They had been working hard. I was tired of seat work/training. I decided that we would do some math practice with a relay race.

That was stupid. They weren't ready, behaviorally, for something that had them up and about. It got so loud before we even got through a trial run of the relay that I had to cancel the whole thing. I even had my mentor in the room to help me. Some kids got so angry with the kids who ruined it I was worried there might be a fight on the way out of class. I'm angry with myself for wasting so much valuable learning time.

I promised the students some nice worksheets for practice next week. This is not the kind of teacher I want to be. I hate worksheets. I EVEN MADE PACKET, so help me. I'll probably make up some challenge packets for the kids who are ready to move on, but they're still packets.

I have to remind myself to go in baby steps. As a group, we can only move as fast in terms of behavior as the least-skilled kid in the class.

I'm afraid the last 6 weeks of the school year are going to be dead boring for the students and for me. Blech.

*I prefer a more open, conversation-type feel to class and I don't usually enforce raised hands to talk. I hit my breaking point with these kids though, so I felt compelled to be strict about it. We'll see how long I can do it.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Introducing Slope

line by geogebra
We are working on graphing right now and it's time to do slope. I hated, Hated, HATED slope when I was in middle school. Rise over run made no sense to me at all. I thought about how to approach slope this year for weeks.

Usually I start with a line that's got points on it, I do the whole rise over run business, and we plug away until we can do it without too many errors. Eventually I take away the pre-plotted points and they have to come up with those.

Since one of our standards is that students will be able to draw a line given two points or a point and a slope, I decided to start by drawing this time. Once we had a line with two points down I gave them one point and asked what I'd need to know to draw a particular line.

They thought about it. I love this. They really thought about it. At one point someone suggested that we needed to know how to get to the next point so we'd know what direction to go in. Brilliant! So I told them to go 2 up and 3 over (to the right, because right now we're always reading graphs left to right). I wrote 2/3 as a ratio with the words "up" and "over" next to the numbers. Then, on a new coordinate plane, I drew the same starting point but with different "clues" to the next point. And then another one. And another one. And then I let them tell me how to find the next point on the line.

This could have flopped in so many ways, particularly since this class has many behavioral issues. But it worked!

What I love is that THEY figured out that the top number is related to y somehow. THEY decided that we could skip the word "down" and slap a negative sign on there. THEY noticed that 3/2 gets you the same line as 6/4.

I only barely brought up the word slope toward the end of class. I briefly mentioned rise over run, but didn't dwell on it. Their whole assignment was to take points and slopes I gave them and graph them for practice. I plan to do more practice in class tomorrow before we start finding slopes on lines that have already been drawn. I'm thinking I might make it a treasure-map sort of activity, or one where one kid comes up with the slope from a line and passes it to another kid who has to draw the original line based on what the first kid gave them.

While I have no expectations that they will understand slope better than students who learned with me before, I really loved trying something new and having it work out so well. I wish class could be like that everyday!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Bombed the Test

We recently had a test over percents. It did not go well. I tried multiple ways of teaching and practicing over the unit to engage everyone. I really don't know what went wrong, but I spent a few hours this weekend coming up with a study guide and review packet. Because I was already behind some of the other teachers, kids will have to spend some time working on this on their own.

One of the other teachers had extremely good results from his classes. His teaching style is very different from mine, but it really seemed to work for his students this time around. I use his worksheets as homework frequently because they are effective, but since several parents have complained to me about not following along with the book (their kids lose the worksheets) I've tried to use the book whenever possible. Our book is common core and we haven't switched standards yet, so I can't pull much out of the book at times. I wonder if switching back and forth was part of the problem.

We also had part of the state standardized test toward the end of the unit, making those class periods very short. But it still gave me over two periods for review. I knew some of them weren't getting it, but I thought more of them were. Ugh. I've had a lot of very disruptive periods during this unit. I'm not sure there's a single factor I could point to, but I feel terrible for my students.

All I can do is try to do better next time.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Science Olympiad Regionals Results

I just have to brag on our kids a little bit. I am the assistant coach for our school's Science Olympiad team. This past weekend we went to the regional competition and did extremely well. Across our two teams we medaled in every event. Our A team medaled 18 times and our B team medaled 16 times out of 23 events. We go to the state competition in a few weeks.

I can't really take any credit for this success because I'm only learning the ropes this year. The coach is amazing and the kids are incredible. We can only field one team for state, so cutting half the team was extremely difficult. Luckily, the state competition will be held nearby and we expect a lot of our extra team members to come cheer on those who are competing.

If you are interested in starting a Science Olympiad group at your school, go read the information at the Science Olympiad website. There's almost too much information. Keep in mind that you DON'T have to buy all the recommended videos and kits in order to be competitive. You really need motivated kids, supportive parents, and perhaps a good PTO to help you pay for a bus to competition.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Helping Students Behind in Math

I'm very glad this is one of our middle school blogging topics because some days I feel as though I'm doing this OK and other days it really gets me down.

I feel that my school makes considerable effort to provide support for struggling students.  Twice a week we have tutorial time when teachers can sign students up for remediation activities.  Students who fall behind on homework are assigned a place at lunch where they can eat and do homework at the same time.  Next year, students who haven't passed the state test in math will be placed in a companion class to their regular math class that will help them fill math gaps.  Students who don't quality for special education services but are having a hard time getting work done on a regular basis for any reason get assigned to an academic lab period, where a teacher is available to help them one-on-one with their work.  The academic lab typically has fewer than 6 students in it each period.

In my department, I'm lucky enough that we always schedule at least one review day before a summative assessment.  Sometimes we do a whole class activity and sometimes I differentiate the activities based on what I know from formative assessments.  After that, students can remediate and retake assessments on the same topic as many times as we can squeeze it in during class or tutorial.  I do require students to show me what kind of effort they've put into learning the stuff they missed before they retest, usually from materials I supply since many of our topics aren't in our books.

Where I struggle is with the students who, even with all this support, still have difficulty in math.  Sometimes the problem is with their reading level.  Other times they are slow processors who don't process slowly enough to get assigned to a study skills class or qualify for special education support but are slow enough that it takes them twice as long as everyone else to get it.  Having defined class time periods is especially hard on them, because if they haven't got it by the end of the period it's like starting over again the next day.

I am really looking forward to reading what other teachers are doing.  I get so many ideas from the blogosphere!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Middle Schoolers Make Bad Choices

One of my lovable ruffians was caught showing his friends an illegal substance in the media center this week. He hasn't been to class since, though I'm told he's spent considerable time in the assistant principal's office with his guardian in attendance. I am so sad for him it hurts. He has a lot going for him as a person and I'd hate to think that this one mistake will define him for the adults in his life forever.

I realize that teenagers do stupid things. I did plenty of stupid things myself. Heck, I would not want my teen self in any of my classes because I would drive myself insane. I get it. But I can also see the train wreck coming. I got lucky. Some of my students won't be so lucky.

I do think I did everything I could to build a relationship with this student. He's not a mean kid and he responded to adults who showed an interest. His thoughts and attention are clearly on other parts of his life right now, rather than on school. Here's hoping he can find a new, more positive, focus.

Monday, January 21, 2013

My Big Campus

Is anyone else using My Big Campus? Our school system has adopted it as a means of, well, all sorts of things. It doesn't integrate with our grade book, so not grading (thank goodness). But our students are all loaded in now and my classes are set up.

Debates about whether there are better systems out there aside (I think there are), I'm finding it mostly useful as a place to dump all those great links to things I find. I've also put a couple of practice quizzes in there but have yet to use them. I'd love to do some assessments with it, particularly when I'm forced to use multiple choice questions for whatever reason. Actually, essay questions wouldn't be bad because then I wouldn't have to deal with tween handwriting.

On the negative side, I don't always have reliable technology on which to use My Big Campus with my students. While I usually have access to slow netbooks, in the last week they've been whisked out of my room by the 8th grade science teachers. This is fine, because they are science department netbooks and I tend to use them more for math, but it makes planning interesting.

Beginning this week I'll post homework for math on My Big Campus rather than on my website. I created a bundle of online resources for students who want more support with the topics we'll be covering in this unit. A third of my students don't have internet access at home, so I can't use it as a way to flip lessons.

Anyway, I'd love to hear how other people are using it or if anyone found it a complete waste of time.

Monday, January 14, 2013

TKD and Me

Last summer, my daughter began taking Taekwondo (TKD) lessons. For her, it was physical therapy. For me, it's been a real eye-opener as a teacher. Here's what I notice while watching TKD classes that relates to math and science teaching for me:

  • Most classes are highly mixed in terms of skill level.
  • Most classes are somewhat mixed in terms of age; adults go to separate classes from kids for safety reasons.
  • New students are shown what they need to know when they're ready to learn it, not before.
  • A new student can start at any time, not just at the beginning of a defined season.
  • New students learn by watching more experienced students and then immediately trying whatever's being demonstrated.
  • All students are expected to show respect to all other students, regardless of skill level.
  • Skill levels are denoted only by belt color, which serves to let a student know who they can ask for help.
  • Everyone progresses at his or her own pace rather than on an imposed schedule.
  • Classes are open; students come to any class that meets when they can come rather than signing up for a specific time slot, which can change weekly.
  • Students who aren't up for TKD opt out by not attending that day; students who are not ready to concentrate are asked to sit out or leave until they are.
  • Students can come up to 4 times a week and so work at the level of their interest and personal bandwidth.
  • Students test their skill level when they are ready; teachers do not send students to the assessment until they are confident the student is likely to achieve a new belt.
  • Teachers act as coaches who refine skills being learned, often having more advanced students doing the demonstrations and explanations for new skills rather than doing it all themselves.
  • Students who decide TKD isn't for them can simply stop coming.

I'm sure there's more, but these are the things that stick out in my mind. I haven't really refined this at all, but I've been thinking about how my classroom differs significantly from my daughter's TKD classes. I'm tempted to sign up for TKD just to see what it feels like to be a student in what is a purely mastery-based learning environment.

A challenge to myself is to see where I can implement some of these ideas. Some of them are not appropriate for public education. Others are not something I do right now, but that I might think about trying.

I realize I'm not saying anything new here, but TKD serves as a way to show that learning at a student's pace is possible in the right environment. Creating that environment inside traditional school is the challenging part.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Homework Makes Us Sad

I have to grade homework as a completion grade. That's the school policy. So, that's what I do. I assign homework, and I check it off when it's completed. I don't grade it. I don't even note that it was turned in after the date when I said it was due.

I watched a colleague today go through all his classes to track how many late assignments all his students had (our grade book doesn't do this for us). He was upset at all the work he had to do. I was sad for him. I don't do this work because I don't see how it benefits students except in an oblique way.

My colleague's comment was, "I sure wish we could go to standards-based grading so I don't have to grade homework anymore!" Um, sure, because SBG is all about making less work for the teacher.

I am still sad for him, because his eventual transition to SBG will probably be a tad difficult.