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AcmeFool, I agree with you to decent degree. They certainly could be very good supplemental tools, but maybe still primary tools that then allow the teacher to focus on individual needs. I am not a teacher, so don't have the same insight of course.

Unfortunately, there are not very many people that truly understand math. Few of those people are able to communicate what they know. And only a tiny portion of that group is willing to give up the money they can earn elsewhere. Especially to do a job that is frequently thankless (or worse).

So that is part of the problem. Few people can sing well, but I can go to iTunes and find the ones that do, I don't have to hope I get lucky with my local garage band. I believe this can be applied to learning at different levels to different extents.

In the end good teachers should get paid competitive salaries, but then I have to go to competitiveness. I feel I am a strong worker with a great work ethic. There are few weeks a year when I only work 40 hours. I come in on weekends occasionally to catch up. I bet good teachers do this too, but I am well rewarded for it. My boss recognizes both my work effort and value added and is able to give me good raises. If I got the same raise as someone else that did not work as hard, I would slow down. So as a teacher, I can't imagine what it is like to be great and work harder only to get the same standard raise as someone that doesn't. I don't know what it is like in your school system, but here in DC it is well known as a cesspool of cronyism, union stonewalling and malaise. Bad teachers can only be moved around to harm other kids in other schools, or to become part of the bloated bureaucracy.

Well, a bit sorry for the rant, but it pains me to see people like you that obviously care and try hard and make a sacrifice, only to see all that other junk happen. Anyway, keep fighting the good fight, may technology be your tool of triumph.
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