Here is one of the first exercises I take teachers and administrators through when they work with me. Before we get into the nitty gritty details of transforming their math instruction, I ask them to do the following:
Write a description of your dream for each of the following:
Your classroom set up
Your classroom procedures and rituals (Remember, this is how you want it to be, not what you think your kids can handle.)
How students communicate and collaborate in your classroom
How students problem solve and engage the 8 Math Practices
How students persist in learning new, challenging material
How students engage with technology
How you differentiate instruction and assessment to meet the needs of all your students
How your data looks by the end of the year
How your students enjoy math
How students are empowered by math
What else do you dream about for your math class?
Go ahead. Dream. This is a perfect day. And then… take a step in faith, even though you cannot see the whole staircase!