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Guide aimed at recruiting more math mentors

Math is a subject many people shy away from and students dread learning. The Fayette County Public Schools Friends Mentoring Program is hoping to change math’s stigma for both adults and students.

A taskforce, made up of current and former math teachers and retired business people, has just started working on a math guidebook that will be used by volunteer mentors to help students at all grade levels. The book will outline sound teaching practices that go along with the Georgia Mathematics Performance Standards.

A reading guidebook has been in use for years, but the program has never had one that focused on math. It is hoped that the guide will help the program attract more volunteers who are willing to assist students with the subject. The goal is to show both adults and students that math can be fun.

The taskforce completed its initial meeting in March and plans to have two to three more to create a draft and finalize the guide before the end of the school year. Anyone who would like more information about the mentoring program can contact Jane Gough, 770-460-3990, ext. 255.



I hope that they make the works available on the Fayette County web site as downloadable .pdf documents.

It's amazing to me in this day and age of electronic publishing that the school system and teachers haven't joined together and published textbooks -- not just a guidebook as mentioned above. Imagine the cost savings if textbooks were internally published instead of purchased from a publishing company. It would be great for students as well. Imagine them being able to put all their textbooks on a flash drive or be able to access their textbooks from home over the web. No more lugging around a 20 pound backpack.

Why can't the teachers across the county join together and publish our own textbooks? It's not like subjects such as mathematics are radically changing year to year. Think of the dozens of teachers across the county for a particular subject and grade level. The administration should allow one planning period for them to collaborate on these collective works until they're published. I would imagine they'd only require relatively minor updates over time.

Use a system like LaTeX (or pdfLaTeX) to produce and typeset these math textbooks. Other than that, you'd need something to create graphical plots and the like. All the tools these teachers would need are freely available open source packages.

Fayette county could even license these for use by other counties within Georgia or the nation to recoup the costs and more. Not only could this save tax dollars, but even be a revenue stream for the board of education.

Sign me up. I'm not a math teacher nor retired, but I'd love to help on an effort like this. I'm probably being naieve, but it seems that there's got to be a better way than continuing down this path.

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