I’m thrilled that we have started a place for Canadian Educators to discuss ideas, and that we are, from the very beginning, attempting to include a wide variety of perspectives. I’m hoping both to share ideas about Canadian education here, as well as interesting projects I hear about.
Here’s my background and perspective in education.
This is my 10th year teaching. Although I am a Canadian, I started my career teaching in Brooklyn, NYC. The school was fairly rough around the edges (read: almost no administrator support) but I liked my students, and so I stuck it out for three years. My wife and I moved together to London, England, where I taught in an International School (we had 46 different first languages taught in the school) using the International Baccalaureate programme. In this school I felt very much supported by administration and especially my colleagues, and the students were again, terrific. Unfortunately, London is very expensive, and when my son was born and my wife stopped earning money (and my salary being completely insufficient to support three people), we needed to move on. Our next stop was Bangkok, Thailand, where I taught in another International School. This school was interesting, to say the least, and I enjoyed teaching there. After two years in Bangkok, we decided to head back to North America to be closer to family, so now I teach in a small independent school in Vancouver.
My passion in education is on reforming mathematics education. Too often math is taught as a series of recipes for students to remember, and students are rarely given a glimpse of the deeper connections that exist in mathematics. I’m interested in the use of technology in mathematics education especially. My current role is as Learning Specialist for Mathematics and Technology, which will give me an opportunity both to improve the teaching of mathematics at my current school, but also the opportunity to continue to explore the use of technology in education. I don’t see technology in education as the “panacea” which will save education, but I do see it having the potential to uproot some of our entrenched practices.
I’ve been blogging for over 7 years now at http://davidwees.com and in the past couple of years I’ve been fairly active on Twitter. I love the ability these two technologies have given me to connect with other educators, and I have to admit; I’m addicted to learning about education through my social network. I’m looking forward to the conversations in this new space!