30 August 2011

AP Stats Teacher Advice (from a vet, not me)

As a part of my can't-believe-I'm-teaching-ap-stats preparations, I signed up for the electronic discussion group via the College Board's website. Following along with the discussion via my email inbox makes me feel oh-so 2002, but there have been a few helpful nuggets of advice, discussion, or desperation that have given me better perspective and preparedness.

Doug Tyson, of Central York High School in York, PA offered up this advice today on the EDG for me and my fellow first-years.

 Subject: Are you a new AP Stats teacher?

If no, then read no further.

If yes, I will break one of my long-standing rules in order
to write this message.  That rule is "Never offer un-asked-for
advice."  Although it has served me well over the years,
recent posts on this group have prompted me to offer 1 or 2
thoughts.  You are warned that these come from my very
own mind - read with eyes wide open...

1) Don't be afraid to admit to yourself, other AP teachers,
and your students that some of the material is subtle and
that you're still learning Statistics.

2) Real data are subtle and often break rules-of-thumb.  Be
wary of inviolate rules in Statistics, as they are often really
rules-of-thumb in disguise.

3) Think deeply about the ideas.  Get your students to do the

4) Ask questions on this EDG. It's a safe place to learn.
There are lots of really knowledgable people here - I know
some of them, and they're really nice people.  And they
were all new Stats teachers at one point in their lives.

5) Read everything about Statistics you can get your hands on.

6) Develop a sense of wonder about the world around you.
Develop the same in your students.  Statistics (in one view)
is about understanding the world based on measurable evidence.
The world is your laboratory and playground.  Have fun!

(former new AP Stats teacher) 

The EDG isn't as handy for me as Twitter, but I can't bring myself to unsubscribe.