So my department head asked if I'd be interested in piloting the new math course next year.
And being a fool, instead of saying "No, I think I have about all I can handle on my plate right now," I said "What new math course?" Which is not quite the same as saying "Sure, hit me," but the distinction is minimal. (The DoI called me a "pitcher-in" earlier this week, and I'm afraid to say he's got me there.)
The answer is this new math course
. Advanced Mathematical Decision Making, developed by the UT Dana Center (and other partners, but this is mostly the Dana Center's baby, to be proposed to the Texas Legislature as a full mathematics course - that first link is essentially the proposed TEKS (that's Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, the state curriculum, for those of you who are out-of-state or who haven't set foot in a school since the '90s or before).
If they actually teach it to the intent outlined here, this is a Good Thing. It means that kids who are not necessarily ready won't be funneled into Precal just because they need a fourth math course to graduate and weren't scheduled into Math Models; one of the things that's been freaking us out this year is that in two years we're going to have an incredible influx of kids into Precal whose math backgrounds won't be any better than the half of the senior class that stopped after Algebra II this year and will need to pass it to graduate. I refuse to water down Precal. It also means we'll finally have a course in the high school curriculum other than AP Stats that does probability and statistics! I have been arguing that, for just basic media literacy, the vast majority of our kids need prob & stats much, much more than they need to know how to find the zeroes of a polynomial function.
Which brings me to why the department head asked me. I have pointed out before that I teach The Fourth Course. Among other things, this means that I can do mathematical modeling and prob & stats. While the stuff isn't hard, and anyone on the math faculty should be able to do it, I'm the only one who has anywhere-near-current experience, due to having taught AP Stats. And I like teaching seniors.
The problem is I'd have to go up to the Dana Center several times over the course of the year - up to 6 different times - and that introduces travel issues and, more importantly, the IB Math Studies kids potentially missing me for 6 days of class. I don't think I can do that. If those days are negotiable, or can be done on Saturdays, then it's all good, but I can't jack the IBMS kids for six days of class and still feel like they'll be really ready for the exam.
So - any thoughts? Should I do it? Do I have the right to bitch if I don't, and someone else does it poorly?