pulled pork and education meetings

I made pulled pork today. A few months ago I started buying meat from Moon Meadow Natural Beef. For a while our standard Sunday dinner was their hamburger patties on Acme Bread buns, both of which could be purchased at my local farmer’s market, which I love. Their burgers are amazing but I recently branched out. I have bought their pork chops, used their short ribs to make beef stew, their bacon to make bacony things, and this week, their pork shoulder to make pulled pork and it was incredible. I was going to post a picture but it got eaten before I could take one.

The other interesting (I hope) thing that I did today was attend a school district meeting. I am on our school’s site council and, as a member of that, represent our school on the district advisory committee. This months’ meeting was about district demographics, which I admit isn’t universally interesting, but last month’s was about Common Core. A lot of people have a lot of opinions about Common Core but I have noticed that most of the anxiety and conversation is around Math.

Math seems to hold an emotional piece for parents that Language Arts does not. I think this is because so many people have stressful experiences with math as a child or are good at math and end up tying a lot of their self-worth and identity to their math skills. I originally thought that most of the people upset about the changes in Common Core Math were people who were unsure of their math skills but I have since heard parents say that they are good at math and they need help! At my son’s school I believe that they could understand it, if they would read it closely or ask the teacher for explanation.

I have to admit that the emotion around math surprised me at first. When a conversation starts about Language Arts Common Core it always gets turned back to math. Math is where we need help, math is where we feel challenged. Math is what makes you smart, or not, in our minds. I am going to come out and say that I see the new standards as an improvement. I am not a teacher but I have spent 10 years at a parent participation school helping in the classroom, often during math time. I see the variety of teaching methods as a better way of reaching more kids at a place where they can get the concepts and feel like they are good at math. They are capable. I hope that the new standards get enough of a chance from the general public that the benefits can be seen. Change is hard. Math should not be.