“Help outside class”

Posted on January 12, 2017


On twitter, Michael Pershan noted that it’s taken him 3 years to figure out how to get students help outside class.

This made several thoughts gel in my feeble brain, the biggest one being that ‘help outside’ is vastly underrated and a huge equity issue.

I think we don’t want students to need help outside class… but the fact is — they do.   THe ones from the right families get it.   If there’s somebody in the family who can just give a little help here and there… it’s not even really thought about as ‘help.’   (It also can be ferociously individualized if Mom actually knows what you need.)

Toss in stigma of having to *ask* for it, instead of it being Just A Thing.

One of my favorite things about my job is that … it’s Just a Thing for most folks.   Like, math is hard!   So of course you go down to where there’s somebody to help you figure it out. Yes, you do have to Cross the Threshold, but being able to “just come in to use the computers”  gets lots of folks in the door.

Still, I think that here we do need more work normalizing getting Help Outside Class.

(Oh, and yes… I’m going to camp away from Canvas for a while.  I’ve been chastised for getting defensive.  I gave that due thought and I defended myself.   Tech is notorious for having hostile environments and then telling people they’re too sensitive when they dont’ like being contradicted and belittled, and …  that’s exactly what happened.)


Posted in: math, math education