The truth is, the definition of my approach is continually refining itself as my collection of teaching tools and knowledge develop.
Some of the stupendous math afternoons we've had in class of late have reinvigorated some things about myself that I had forgotten, and with the professional development presentation I gave, yesterday, I was able to pass on some of those tried-and-true methods and beliefs to some of my peers.
The fact is, as an eclectic teacher, I would never aspire to fully use any program set before me, but I will easily promulgate particular pieces that fit within my own program. I choose the parts that fit with my personality, my beliefs, and my needs, and then I marry them with the conglomeration of tools that have already been established within me.
I understand that my methods will not work for everyone, but I also understand the things that work for me. To force my square-peg personality into the round hole set forth by a scripted program is simply ridiculous.
Thus, I am pleased that our district finally recognizes individuality among its teachers.
And that's why I was reminded of some of Dr. Fred Jones's Positive Instruction strategies when presenting our math lessons. Positive Instruction provides the teacher with an ability to see and help more students in a shorter period of time. "Needy" perpetual hand-raisers are no longer enabled by the teacher's inclination to nurture. Instead, a teacher helps just enough to get a student over an obstacle before the student is back on the road to independently solving his/her problem on an assignment. No longer are two or three chronically disabled students (academically speaking) allowed to occupy the majority of the teacher's time, and no longer do they get free solutions by taking advantage of the teacher's natural penchant to take them by the hand and lead them to the final results. (i.e., free answers without doing the work themselves).
At the same time, I can get a pretty good immediate feel for the abilities within my class by taking a close look at their work as they work it, and when something is turned in, I have already checked much of their assignment.
Educators interested in Positive Instruction, along with guidance in other areas (discipline and motivation) should check out Dr. Jones's book Tools for Teaching on his website.