Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Stacks & Queues

In Computer Programming we learned something about various data structures, two being "stacks" and "queues".

Stacks can be thought of like a pile of plates. You keep adding to your list (or plates that are stacked on a table), and when you want to remove one, you remove the top-most one (or the last thing you put on). You can liken it to "last on first out".

Queues are like movie lines - first one in is the first one out. So you can add to the end of a list, and then when things are removed, they peel off from the start of the list.

I thought about that today when I was teaching for two reasons. There are all these "extra" things we have to remember in addition to teaching our content:
* put kids on "mandatorials" if they fail for a grading period
* check in and make sure they're coming to tutorials
* don't forget to update your money log if you're a sponsor of a club
* check in with kids emotionally to see if anyone is acting "off" from their normal selves
* if you're a team leader, check in with other people teaching in your grade level
* do your 5? 6? observations of other teachers throughout the year
* have you planned for an interdisciplinary unit?
* what about a flipped class?
* check in before every test you give to make sure kids know how to study for tests or need extra help
* kids stressed? don't forget that extra activity you did that was short and sweet and was a temporary relief for them
* make sure you connect with the students
* there are no stupid questions, so get that look off your face and answer patiently (it's the FIRST time this kid is asking)


So this came to light today when I realized that I'd totally forgotten to do one of those things (more?) that should have been ingrained in my mind - the "check that they know how to set up a study schedule for learning" .... (because most of them have never learned how to study for math tests before). Then I thought, I'm like a "queue". I have so many more things popping onto my to-do list, that the old/first stuff falls off my radar while I'm concentrating on the "new fires".

Maybe I need a bunch of charts hanging around my room or somewhere I can see them and the kids can't. That way I can take a quick glance and see if anything needs to be addressed currently. ..... But then I'm thinking, the list would probably be SO long I wouldn't have space to hang it :).

1 comment:

  1. I think that your analogy is backwards—if you are processing the most recent stuff and never getting around to older imperatives, then you are behaving like a stack processor, not a queue processor. If you are working on stuff that should have been done years ago and never catching up, then you are behaving like a queue processor.