WillThink4Wine » Teaching Math in Florida

Mar 27 2008

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Teaching Math in Florida

Posted at 12:01 am under Just for laughs, Thought for the Day

Now, before you read this I want to assure you that this is not my opinion of ALL teachers. I happen to have 2 teachers in my immediate family who absolutely love teaching and both of them are brilliant and gifted educators! I also have friends who are College Professors and even a fellow Wine Taster who happens to be Dean of Students at a wonderful university. As a general rule I have the deepest respect and the highest regard for teachers, cops, firefighters and our military. In my opinion, they are all undervalued, and I don’t mean just monetarily. However, as is true with any profession or field, there are exceptions to the general rule. No matter where you go, you will always find “them”. So don’t get crazy on me!!

A few years ago I was looking for a full time employee. I needed someone to do shipping and receiving as well as my ink mixing. For the benefit of those of you who’ve never worked in the Graphic Arts or Printing Industry, this basically means opening the book to the specific formula and figuring what percentages of each of the 2, 3 or 4 colors of ink are needed for a pound of that particular ink color. Yeah, this is not Rocket Science.

One of my customers asked me to consider an acquaintance of his for the position. After interviewing him, and despite his teaching degree and 20 years of experience teaching 4th grade in the Fort Lauderdale Public School System, I hired him. He was overqualified, but he needed a job and I needed someone I could depend on.

During his first week I assigned him a task I am confident could adequately be completed by an average 10 year old. I know this to be true because my own niece had done it several times. After giving him the 10 minute instructions and having him observe me mixing while reviewing over a few days, I asked him to mix a pound of ink on his own.

j0409227.jpgThink “Deer in the head lights”.

Much to my astonishment, this man, this teacher of our precious youth, had no idea how to calculate percentages! It’s not as though there wasn’t a calculator just to the right of him. Needless to say we never progressed to multiplying for 2 or more pounds or (Heaven Forbid!) fractions. Oh, I am totally serious.

As a footnote, I will mention that I ignored my better judgment when I overlooked the errors he made filling out the application. In hindsight, I discovered he also wasn’t skilled in reading or writing either.

Note to self: First Impressions and Gut Instincts are never again to be disregarded.

How long did he remain in my employ, you ask? He quit after 2 weeks. Apparently, I have unreasonable expectations.


And now, in the tradition of one of my favorite bloggers, a joke. Empress Bee said I could borrow has no idea I’m using this, but it is so true that I had to post it, along with the above story from my own personal experience.

Thanks, Miss Bee! You’re a real Georgia Peach!

j0436129.jpg1. Teaching Math in Florida in the 1950s:
A guy sells a truckload of alligator hides for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

2. Teaching Math in Florida 1960s:
A guy sells a truckload of alligator hides for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

3. Teaching Math in Florida 1970s:
A guy sells a truckload of alligator hides for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?

4. Teaching Math in Florida 1980s:
A guy sells a truckload of alligator hides for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

5. Teaching Math in Florida 1990s:
A guy goes into a beautiful swamp to get alligators and messes it all up because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the fish and other alligators and birds feel as the guy messes up their homes? (There are no wrong answers, and if you feel like crying, it’s ok.)

6. Teaching Math in Florida 2008:
Un individuo vende un camión del cocodrilo oculta para $100. Su coste era $80. ¿Cuánto él hace?

13 responses so far

13 Witty Remarks to “Teaching Math in Florida”

  1. Amyon 27 Mar 2008 at 6:58 am 1

    When I worked for our local daily newspaper, I spent much time in the community teaching teachers how to use the newspaper in the classroom. I very often walked away shaking my head. There are teachers who don’t know a noun from a verb … seriously.

  2. Suzieon 27 Mar 2008 at 9:02 am 2

    OK I admit it. Im trained as a teacher and I couldn’t even concentrate on math enough the finish reading your word problems. To quote Barbie “Math is hard!”

  3. Vixenon 27 Mar 2008 at 2:09 pm 3

    **wiping hysterical tears from eyes**

    Can’t stop snorting. Co-workers are starting to stare at me…

  4. Hootin’ Annion 27 Mar 2008 at 3:14 pm 4

    Oh dear….some of these makes one want to just go “hmmmmmmmm”

    While others just make me literally laugh out loud!!!

  5. SandyCarlsonon 27 Mar 2008 at 4:45 pm 5

    After a day of subbing 20 second-graders, five of whom were ESL, 12 of whom were on psyche meds, and of whom refused to behave, I have to wonder why Florida has not called Dr. Jack for a mercy killing. Forgive the cynicism.

  6. Bobbieon 27 Mar 2008 at 8:30 pm 6

    You have no idea how all of that is true. I now have 3 grandchildren in the Florida school system and it is a shame. My granddaughter was having some problems with reading comprehension in school and we discovered that the teacher had assigned her to help a boy in the class to read who only spoke Spanish and my granddaughter only speaks English. The schools in Florida are terrible to say the least.

  7. Mybellaviaon 28 Mar 2008 at 7:20 am 7

    It’s so sad, but very true! But, every once in a while, you run into the cream of the crop! Thomas’ new teacher at Manville has been teaching the same class for 18 years, and he is blessed to have found her! Keep your fingers crossed for next year!

  8. Lindsayon 28 Mar 2008 at 1:03 pm 8

    Ha, I have to agree with you. This was a great way to put it. “Underline the number 20″ made me laugh the most. Haha. It reminded me of the Jeopardy Saturday Night Live skit where the contestants were told to “just write a number.”

  9. Cassieon 28 Mar 2008 at 1:44 pm 9

    I completely agree (hence why I homeschool). Pretty funny.

  10. Janelon 31 Mar 2008 at 8:09 am 10

    wow. That is crazy. Sad about that guy. Funny math “lesson” also a bit sad, but true in most places unfortunately.
    So far, in our particular school, we’ve had great teachers. I think it has a lot to do with having such a good principal, though. The fish stinks from the head down!

  11. Crazycathon 31 Mar 2008 at 9:14 am 11

    Hi – over from David’s blog (and congrats on making the Post of the Day list – well deserved).

    This had me laughing out loud and I have never been to the US never mind Florida! Apart from the language spoken on the last question, the same could be said for parts of the UK – and all of the UK except for the last one!
    Underlining the number is the best one. So true. So true.

    And the teacher who couldn’t do percentages? Unfortunately that is true too. Sometimes I wonder how they get through the degree….

  12. quillyon 31 Mar 2008 at 11:45 am 12

    I found you via David’s Post of The Day. I am a teacher so the title of your post grabbed me. I have to tell you that I, too, am appalled at the number of my under-educated and incompetent colleagues. When I realize I have to teach my students something I do not fully grasp myself — yes, it happens — I do not decide to bluff my way through, I go find someone to teach ME. This is called preparation. It is part of our jobs.

    The reason some teachers don’t do it is because they aren’t paid to. Things like that happen on our own time. IT takes a special kind of dedication to be a competent teacher. When you find one, thank him/her.

  13. Jeni Hill Ertmeron 01 Apr 2008 at 5:03 am 13

    Another visitor here from David’s place – just wanted to let you know that your experience there is pretty much the same as what goes on all too often here in Pennsylvania too!

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