Miss. Hillary Strain

Archive for the category “Blog About It”

Growth in EMTH350

1. Reading over your previous six (6) blog entries,

a. which one was your ‘favourite’ entry and why?

The entry I feel I benefitted from the most was the entry on different assessment strategies that we learnt from our classmates.  This allowed me to learn about different types of assessments that I never even heard about before.    I was able to apply what I learnt and what I blogged about in my pre-internship and I know I will be able to apply these strategies in the future.   This blog entry was the most practical entry that I feel we did and I am pleased that I am able to use what we’ve blogged about in the field.

b. which entry would you most like to ‘do over’ and why?

I don’t feel like I want to/should have to do over any of my blog posts.  Each blog entry that I did, I took the time to think about my answers and responded them with the best of my ability.  I feel as though I benefitted from each entry and took the time to learn about what I was blogging about.  Thus, I feel that I wouldn’t do over any of the posts that I submitted.

c. which entry did you learn the most about yourself as a learner and becoming teacher? Explain.

The entry I feel that I learnt the most about myself as a learner and teacher was the entry in which we had to watch videos  and write a letter to a friend about them.  I feel as this allowed me to take an in-depth look at what the teachers were doing and allowed me to make my own opinions and critiques about their teaching/assessment strategies.   By doing so, it allowed me to develop my own teaching perspectives and allowed me to view how I would approach things differently or similarly.

2. Create a blog entry you would like to have been asked to respond to but were not; after creating the blog entry question, respond to it.

What educational practice do you disagree on?

In certain schools there is a policy where students are not docked any marks/are penalized with not completing assignments/handing them in on time.  I feel as though the students are not benefitting form this and are developing bad habits for their future.   They can take their time to hand in and complete things yet when they enter the “real world” they will be penalized for these acts.  If a person arrives at work late or hands in an important topic for their career late there will be consequences.  So, why not get the students’ practising meeting deadlines and completing things so they will know what to expect later on.

3. Looking back on the EMTH 350 course this semester, describe two topics (areas of interest) you would like to have focused on more in this course that you feel would help shape your growth and learning in becoming a mathematics teacher.

Treaty Education.  I would have liked to learn more about how to incorporate Treaty Education into my lessons. This is a topic that is becoming very important in incorporating into a mathematics classroom and it would have been very useful and beneficial to be able to learn and get informed about any different techniques or strategies on how to do so.

Different Techniques to Engage Students.   I would have liked to learn different ways to engage students in my lessons.  Inquiry is a very good way to have students use their minds, discover their own answers in a fun and exciting way.  Yet, I would have liked to learn different techniques, other than inquiry, like different activities/teaching strategies/etc to be able to do so.

4. Looking ahead to internship in the Fall, describe two overarching goals you have (or want to) set for yourself. (If possible, connect these two goals to the learning you have had in this course or in your teacher education program in general.)

Organization.  I feel as though this is an important thing to do while teaching.  I need to keep myself organized throughout the whole experience.  I feel as though if someone is unorganized then they will not be able to perform to the best of their abilities and will not be able to be a good teacher.  Buying a binder and dividers to keep everything in order during internship for each subject that I teach will be a strategy I will use.  I will have one section for my lesson plans/handouts, one section for my professional development plans and another section for any resources that I may gather.  My goal is to keep everything in my binder and in the right sections. This way i will know where everything is and won’t have to worry about losing anything and I will be able to perform to the best of my abilities.

Get involved in the school/with students. I want to be able to make myself as known as I can in the school.  I want to be able to know my students’ names, talk to them inside and out of the classroom and get involved in any extracurricular activities that I can be able to help with.  I believe that this is important because students will see me more than just “the intern” that’s here to learn and then move on with life.

 

 

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POST Pre-Internship

1) Now that I have completed pre-internship I am going to take the opportunity to reflect on my blog post PRE pre-internship.  We were asked to respond to 3 questions provided and my task today is to see if any of my responses have changed at all.  Looking back at the three questions, there is only one in particular that is a bit different.   In my first blog post, I discussed the topic of having my classroom become a little more student-centred.  I was all for this type of approach until I got into my pre-internship and began teaching.  I realized that now, my classroom needs to be a little bit of both, teacher and student centred, instruction. My students made it quite clear that they learnt best through direct teacher instruction, going through the notes together, taking each little step by step process in order to understand the concept.  I decided that this was most likely the way to go for the whole experience so that I can benefit their learning and not get my co-op behind schedule.   However, I did decide to change it up a bit as the experience went on.  I eventually got students to try examples on their own after we did one together, and then have a multiple amount of students come up to the board, write their answers out and then explain to the class how they came to the conclusion in which they did.  This I noticed, had my classroom to be a little bit of both, teacher and student centred, which ended up being quite successful in the long run.

2) This quote contains some very interesting points.  I have either already seen or experience while partaking in teacher education.  A line from this quote that Freese states are that pre-serveice teachers are “students at the same time that they are learning to be teachers” (2006).  Since I am a pre-service teacher, I can be the first to say that this is a very difficult situation to be placed in.  While I am out in the field, we must always have in mind the responsibilities and thoughts of a professional teacher.  Yet, after the experience we are put back into our regular classroom where we are the students and now have the task of completing all the assignments left and ensuring we are getting good grades in order to be successful.

The second part of this quote is something that seems quite obvious to me.  Freese declares that pre-service teachers need to “assume personal responsibility for their actions and performance and not blame the students or others for their problems” (2006). As teachers, we know that we should never blame others, like parents, students, or colleagues, for any of our problems that may arise.  We are always expected to take responsibility for our own actions.  As I was in the field, this was always in mind that I couldn’t blame anyone but myself for the actions that occurred and the success of my lessons.  However, when it came to assignments and other assessment moments, I noticed that the same students were doing poorly. These were the students that never took any notes, asked any questions, and just never paid attention to my lesson or the work that they were supposed to be doing.  So in a way,  this wasn’t my fault as most of the students were very successful in anything that I thrown at them.   Yet, there was the same bunch of students, whom didn’t put the effort into anything, who didn’t end up being successful.

Pre-internship gave me an experience that opened my eyes to many different aspects in the teaching profession and I have learnt a lot about myself while having the experience.  It is clear that I can’t be too hard on myself and that if a variety of instructional methods wouldn’t end up being successful, then it is OK to stick with having a little bit of both, teacher and student centred, instruction and learning.

PRE Pre-internship

Personally, I believe that field experiences (practicums, pre-internship and internship) play a major role in preparing us students to become teachers.  It allows us to experience first hand what being a teacher is all about.  It allows us to understand how to manage a class, how to prepare and perform our lessons and have a bit of a taste of what life will be like after we graduate. “Field experience … is developmental and offers pre-service teachers an opportunity to understand theories and values in action” (UofR).  We are taught so many theories, pedagogies and many other values about teaching in the classroom that our field experiences allow us to apply what we have learnt and give us a taste of what teaching is really like. From personal experience, being in front of a classroom teaching is completely different from being taught.  A teacher has to plan their own lessons, be prepared to help any students in need, be prepared to face any challenges that arise in the classroom and need to be present in all situations.  Field experience allows a student to realize these expectations a teacher has and if one doesn’t have the opportunity to experience this before graduating they wouldn’t know what they’re getting themselves into.

University Teacher Education Programs play an essential role in helping students become certified teachers.  They provide students with different methods, standards, theories and pedagogy of teaching.  It allows the students to study and learn about the different educational history, familiarize themselves with the curriculum, develop lesson plans, have an understanding of the code of ethics and the roles and responsibilities on has as a teacher.  On the other hand, I believe that lectures and classes can only do so much for a student.  Yes, he or she will learn many different things during their class experiences but how will they ever find out if they are beneficial if one does not get to apply it.  This is where the role of field experience takes place.  Students will be able to apply the knowledge they have learnt in a real world setting to understand exactly what the professors were teaching them.

Through my years of being a high school math student and then becoming a mathematics education students I have realized that math is a basic course one needs to take due to is applicability amongst other subjects and in every day life as well.  People use math every day and in other subjects (especially the sciences) whether they know it or not.  Reflecting on how long I have thought this I believe that this view won’t change during my pre-internship.  When I was first studying math in high school, I viewed math as being a direct teacher teaching with showing multiple steps, formulas and memorization to help us come to conclusions.  However, entering university and taking some EMATH classes and having experienced some field work, I am not focused on mathematics becoming a more student-centred instruction and very basic guided inquiry.  I believe that it is important for me, as a future teacher, to apply this.  Asking students prompting questions that can lead them to figuring out the lesson/theories themselves.  Allowing them to partake in discovering what they are learning and focusing more on them rather than just lecturing them.  I am, and will be, committed to my students, interacting with them and encouraging them to participate is key to building a relationship with them.  Since this is something that I have developed in my experiences in my Emath classes, I believe that this is something that won’t be changing during my pre-internship.  It may be challenging to execute, and who knows this may end up being changed in certain ways, but having a student-centred classroom where teaching is directed towards their involvement will be rewarding. 

 

Letter to a friend

Hey Lauren!

I recently watched two short films about assessment in a mathematics high school classroom and thought that you might be interested in watching them.  I included the links to the videos in the letter but I thought I would give you a brief summary about what I noticed during the videos.  The two videos that I found are on the following site, click here, and look under Individual Program Descriptions. I watched videos 8 and 10 and there are actually many other videos there if you wish to view them.

The first video I watched was Teacher Insights 9-12. The video focused on different math teachers and their way of assessing their students.  There were many different types of assessment that was included in this video and the teachers were all pretty similar in their assessing process. Most did the classic listening in/observing students work and seeing who participated during class. There was also many of the teachers who did self/group/peer assessment and some even had more creative forms of assessment like presentations, portfolios and interviews!  I noticed that the students in these classrooms were nothing like ours in our high school math classes.  These students all worked hard, were able to think deeply and critically about the work they were doing and were able to reflect the process they did to complete the process. I also noticed that they seemed very confident in their work and abilities.  They seemed almost excited and wanting to try out their strategies and do the work.  I remember one of the students sounding very excited and said “that’s what I said!” when she found out her answer was correct. It was weird to see but also very nice to see that there are students out there who are like that.

Since you’re becoming a teacher yourself, Lauren, I think that you should check out this video.  It’s a great way to see many different types of assessment that can be used and which ones seemed to be the most successful.  Remember how in high school the only way we got assessed was through tests and assignments?  We never had any opportunities to have group projects, presentations or any other cool opportunities to represent our knowledge.  This makes me wonder how our teachers really knew where we were at with our learning.  Using the different techniques that were shown in the video will allow us, as future teachers, to see where our students are at with the material they are learning and it will also give the students a fun way to show it.  The teachers in the video seemed very pleased with their strategies and seemed to know their students’ abilities quite well.  I believe that this video will be very beneficial for you, let me know what you think!

The second video I watched was Case Study: Ferris Wheel. This video was about a classroom that was working on a problem about a persons’ position on a double wheel ferris wheel. Their task was to find a function to represent the position. The teacher began her lesson by reviewed the question from the day before, which was about a persons’ position on a single wheel ferris wheel. I don’t know about you, but wouldn’t you have liked it if our teacher did a quick review each day? I think it would be very beneficial for the students and in the video it showed it was because it made it a little easier for them to transition into the new problem and get right into the work that was needed to be done. It also allowed for the students in the video to remember the process that they needed to use in order to figure out the answer to the question.  I also noticed in the video that the teacher walked around and observed the students a lot as they worked.  She made sure to ask her students questions if needed and was very interactive and always there.  Wouldn’t have that been nice for our struggles in high school?

I also noticed that the students seemed pretty engaged in the problem.  A ferris wheel is something that everyone has experience before so they were able to relate to the question.  I feel like this allowed the question to be a little easier for them to figure out because they know exactly what they’re dealing with.  Don’t you think it’ll be a good idea to have relatable and real life questions like that in our classrooms?  I also noticed a cool way of assessing the students work that the teacher preformed at the end of the problem period.  Once she believed that everyone understood what was occurring, she had them write a paper about their experiences, conclusions, interpretations and approaches of their way of solving the problem.  This is something that you don’t see in a math classroom at all and I think it’s a good idea because it allows the students to voice their opinion on how they reached the answer!  Instead of the teacher just saying they got it right or not, she can now take into consideration their arguments on how they got to that conclusion and grade accordingly.

 

I can’t wait to hear back from you about these two videos.  Let me know what you think and if you also have any other comments or opinions about them don’t be afraid to tell me!  Isn’t it cool how as the years go by more and more types of assessment and teaching become apparent.  I hope all is well your way, good luck!

Hillary

Assessments

I don’t have any memorable experience of assessment in any of my high school math classes.  All of my teachers stuck to two different methods of assessment, summative assessment (which in my high school math class consisted of end of unit test, or a final exam at the end of the year) and also the odd formative assessment (which consisted of very few hand in assignment and quizzes).  Typically, the summative assessments were weighted a lot higher (around 20%-30%) of my final grade, so I spent a lot of time focusing on succeeding and doing well on those tests.  The formative assessments were weighted quite lower (only 10%-15%) so I never really took any of those quite seriously.  Looking back at my experience through assessment in high school, I realized that if they did any other ways of assessing, like a journal or a presentation or something out of the ordinary, I think that I would have had a better experience.  I was so used to the basic tests and all that I never really saw the importance of getting assessed.  Now that I have taken a few education classes, I realize that my teacher did do a little more than just those types of assessment, but they were more observation and participation types of things that didn’t really stand out for me.

During class this week, one of our activities was to research a type of assessment strategy and present it to a group of classmates.  I got assigned to learn about Exit Slips. When I first realized that I got assigned this strategy, I was a little disappointed because it is kind of self-explanatory and I figured I wouldn’t learn anything.  I was a little wrong because I did learn something! An Exit Slip, is typically a written response to one of more questions(s) that a teacher will ask his or her students at the end (the reason why it’s called exit) of a class or lesson.  The question(s) that it poses are usually about what they have learnt throughout the class and it will usually take the student at least five minutes to complete.  Since an exit slip is always used at the end of the lesson, a teacher will usually give the students a small slip of paper that contains the questions/activity that he or she wants them to complete.  It can also be written on the board, or even emailed to the students’ parents to be completed at home.  There are many advantages and disadvantages to having exit slips as an assessment strategy.  The advantages are that they allow the teacher to see where the students are at with the material that they are learning, it allows the teacher to self-evaluate and make changes to their teaching style/make adaptations to their lesson to suit the needs of the students and it also allows the students to reflect on what they have learnt to see their level of understanding.  Some disadvantages are that since it is a very brief activity and is at the end of the lesson, the students are usually very eager to get out of the classroom so they might not take the activity seriously/not give you enough information about what they’ve learnt for you to properly evaluate them.  Also, students may also just not complete the activity or not put their name, so you as a teacher won’t know who needs help or how to change your methods to help your students.

I learnt about many different types of assessment from my group members but there are two types that stood out to me. Portfolios and Self-Assessment.

My group member Kaylyn did her research on Portfolios.  Portfolios are a collection of students’ work that are usually used to show their progress over time.  There are many different types of portfolios, two that we discussed were that they can be done on paper or online.  They can also be done for just one specific class or for many different classes.  This is a good strategy to use to show the individual’s work throughout the semester, it can include any assignments, either poor or really well done, to show their progress and growth.  Kaylyn told us that a teacher shouldn’t use a portfolio without an end goal in mind.  If there is no purpose for putting it together, then all the stress and work wouldn’t be worth it.  There are also many advantages and disadvantages towards portfolios. Some advantages are that they help the students self-reflect and self-evaluate on the projects that they have done.  Portfolios are also very flexible for the students because they are allow to decide what they want to include in it or not.  They also allow the students to set goals, which will make them work harder and be more successful in the end.  Some disadvantages to portfolios are the following:  it takes a lot of time for you, as a teacher, to plan and make sure the right intentions of the project are getting across. It is also very hard to assign a grade to it because it is hard to judge a students’ own personal opinion and what they believe good progress is.

Courtney did her research on self-assessment. Self-assessment’s definition is kind of self explanatory, it is the student assessing themselves on their work.  It allows the students to reflect on their own learning and to confirm, consolidate and integrate any new knowledge that he or she has obtained.  Self assessment can also be used to inform the teacher where the students believe they are at in the learning, and it can also be used for submitting as a grade as well.  Not only do students self-assess, teachers can self-assess as well on how their lesson went and what they think is effective or not.  There are also many advantages and disadvantages that come with self-assessment.  Some advantages are that it allows the students to monitor their own learning and to have a clear understanding of where they are at.  It also makes the students look over the criteria that they are given which can lead to a better outcome with their projects/assignments.  Some disadvantages are that it puts a lot of work on the student and makes it difficult because they may not end up doing it.  Also, a student may not understand what the criteria is all about if the teachers don’t explain it properly.  A final, a big disadvantage, is that the students may mark themselves really high and give them a good mark thinking that the teacher isn’t assessing them.

Before taking a teacher’s view on these types of performance assessments, I never did understand the value and purpose of them.  I always thought that they were a waste of time and I hated doing them.  Now that I am going to be a teacher, I realize that these are very important to do because it doesn’t focus on the end point of the project, it also focuses on the progress of how the student got there and takes that into account.  These types of assessment allows the teacher to see where all of their students are at in the lesson/projects, it allows them to see if anyone needs any extra help or attention and it also allows them to make any adjustments if needed.  This is also a very good way for the teacher to communicate with the students without them really knowing it.  Not only do they allow the students to set goals, work hard and keep the teacher on track, these types of assessments are ideal for one to keep in mind when they are doing the final assessment.  This way they can realize the progress/improvements the students have done and see if the changes they have done/help they have given were useful for the students.

 

Article Response

Read the journal article entitled Understanding change through a high school mathematics teacher’s journey to inquiry-based teaching, by Chapman & Heater (2010) (full article is provided in pdf under this link on UR Courses). Discuss the article’s focus on teacher change in relation to:

1) What/how you are learning about inquiry in this course (through your readings, our class activities, lesson planning, and lesson teaching)

My thoughts on teacher change has altered throughout my years in the Education program here in Regina.  When I first entered the program, I thought I had the perfect way to teach marked in my head based on the experiences that I have had.  Yet, each new semester and year I have taken many classes, learnt many different opinions and techniques from my profs and/or my coop teacher that have made me realize that there is more than just one way of teaching.  These opportunities have opened my mind to seeing change in teaching as a good thing but some may not always be open for this change. “It requires not only a desire by the teacher to change but also the belief that alternatives that are more beneficial are possible” (pg. 456). We must keep our students in mind while we are changing our teaching methods to help suit their needs as well.

When I first entered University, my views of teaching mathematics was very similar to Brea’s.  From my experiences, I believed that mathematics should be easy for everyone to learn, that it should be broken down into easy steps for students to follow and there would be no difficulties. My teachers tried their hardest to make our math lessons easy to understand and follow.  Like Brea mentioned in the article, they would “make math simple into little bits so the students could consume it and regurgitate it” (pg. 450).  Since this is all I experienced in my pre-university days, this is what I believed that I should do as a future math teacher as well.  I have taken many courses that have opened my mind towards different ways of teaching, especially in EMTH350.  This class is teaching me to have a more open mind towards inquiry based learning.  During high school, I was never exposed to this process of learning and I am finding that there are many different ways to approach this process.  The first inquiry based activity we did in class was trying to understand radian measure through a concrete representation. This allowed me to experience first hand what an inquiry base activity is and allowed me to experience the lightbulb moment that one will have when they figure out the process they are trying to learn.  After completing the activity, I realized that it is very important for teachers to provide students with any opportunities, activities and questions to allow them to explore the topic whether it is related to what they are learning or not.  Inquiry is based on allowing your students to “question, explore,…,and generalize in learning high school mathematics” (pg. 455). Now that I have been exposed to this way of teaching, I believe that I can branch off of the simple way of teaching and try and experience new opportunities to share.

2) How/if the ideas in the article challenge or affirm your beliefs about mathematics teaching & learning (as described in your blog entry 2 creed).

Now that I have experienced many classes that have had influence in my beliefs of teaching, I believe that the article has made me realize that what I posted last week is true. Particularly the last creed I wrote: I believe that mathematics is a challenging subject, but in the long run it can be one of the most rewarding.  The concept of inquiry is to not only meant to challenge students but to make them realize that they can discover answers on their own and not always need guidance. In the article, Brea states: ” I want my students to understand that mathematics is not simple, that it is complex and complicated, that it does exist in the world, that it is a ‘living discipline’, that it has bloodlines” (pg. 450). This sentence affirms that students will have challenges during their process of inquiring learning, or even learning mathematics in general, but from that they will grow and their minds will develop.  The difficulties and challenges that they will experience while learning mathematics will allow them to see even though it is a school subject, that learning something and finally understanding a concept and be one of the best feelings in the world.

Reading Response

This week we had to read Chapter One from Goos’ textbook Teaching Secondary School Mathematics, we also had to the following two article posts: Goos, M. (2006). Why teachers matter. ATM, 62(4), 8-13 and Beswick, K. (2006). The importance of mathematics teachers’ beliefs. ATM, 62(4), 17-22.  We then had to respond to the following questions.

a) Referring to key ideas in the articles and textbook chapter, write a reflection on your perspective on the importance of teacher’s beliefs about what mathematics is, what it means to know and do mathematics, and why mathematics is important to learn.

In the chapter and the two articles that I read, each one of them stressed the importance of how a teacher’s belief impacts their classroom practice.  I completely agree with this statement.  The way a teacher presents themselves in front of a class and while teaching will influence his or her students’ opinion about how the class is going to be.  If a teacher has a bad attitude, bad behaviour, and lets their student see that they aren’t passionate about the subject, will change the students’ mind about the class and even the subject overall.  A teacher could make the class too hard because he or she doesn’t want to take the time to go through each step of the problem, this will make students very frustrated and they will eventually give up.  If a teacher has bad beliefs and isn’t passionate about the subject, his or her students’ success rate will reflect that.  Beswick’s article talks about three different types of belief systems for mathematics, one of them being seeing mathematics as numbers and applying symbols and such to those numbers and the more complex being looking deeply into the subject implicitly and explicitly.  I feel as though I am in between these two stages.  I no longer see mathematics as just numbers and substituting things into an equation but I’m still learning how to problems more in depthly and have a deeper understanding.  I believe that if one is going to start teaching mathematics they need to be able to see the deeper side of the problems and not just look at the “surface structure” of the question.  This way a teacher will be able to help the students who are struggling but will still be able to challenge the more advance students because they have a good understanding of what mathematics is and can apply their knowledge to do so.  Personally, I see mathematics as an every day life skill that everyone should have/needs to have and know.  People are using mathematics on an every day basis, whether they know it or not, it is constantly around us.  While we are shopping, while we are cooking, while someone is building a house or some sort of project, mathematics is always a part of life events.  If one doesn’t know mathematics, even the basics, their everyday life could become a little more difficult.  The more experience I get with the subject and being in the classroom teaching, I’m sure the following beliefs and the opinions I stated above will change, but something that will always stay true in my heart is the influence a teacher has on the students learning.

b) Use the articles and textbook chapter to help you reflect on and formulate your own mathematics “creed” – that is, a list of five (5) “I believe…” statements about mathematics and/or mathematics teaching & learning.

  1. I believe that everyone uses mathematics every day, whether they know it or not!
  2. I believe that an engaging and interactive lesson will make it easier for students to learn.
  3. I believe that mathematics can be learned by anyone.
  4. I believe that the teacher can influence the students’ opinion on mathematics (if they like it or not).
  5. I believe that mathematics is a challenging subject, but in the long run it can be one of the most rewarding.

Math Autobiography

I haven’t always enjoyed math.  To be honest, I despised it up until the eleventh grade.  I thought it was useless, difficult, too challenging, and I could never grasp onto any of the concepts presented in front of me.  I dreaded going to the class, wasn’t ever interested in what we were learning and came up with any excuse to not take the time to put effort into what I was learning.

I remember all throughout elementary and middle school that math wasn’t my forte.  I struggles with understanding the concepts and always had to get extra help.  In elementary school I remember struggling with fractions and the higher multiplications.  I remember in my grade 5 class, my teacher would make us stand in front of the whole class and recite our multiplications from numbers 1 to 12.  When I got to the higher numbers I would either always make a mistake or take too long and my teacher would tell me to sit down and practice, it was embarrassing.  Later in my grade 8 year, they started adding letters and more complicated questions which I couldn’t grasp on to. I couldn’t understand to factor and move things to the “other side of the equation” it was never a strong point.  I began to get frustrated, unmotivated and very mad at myself for not being able to do it.  These types of struggles and dislike for math continued into my grade 9 and 10 math classes, but it all changed in the eleventh grade. That year was the year that I made room in my heart for this dear subject, that was the year that I learned to love math!

It all changed when I walked into the first class of Math A30.  As per usual, I sat down, opened my books and immediately rested my head on my hand waiting for my teacher to arrive.  Something felt different about this year and I realized it as soon as my teacher walk in.  He was energetic and alive! He marched up to the front of the room yelling good morning and seemed very enthusiastic about the day.  He begin by introducing himself and then got on with the lesson.  I could tell right when he started to write on the whiteboard that my opinion on this subject was going to change.  The way he talked as he wrote the notes on the board was different, you could tell he really loved what he was doing, he spent time going through the examples to ensure everyone understood what was going on.  His examples were detailed and he went through them with passion.  After he was done lecturing, for the first time ever, I understood exactly what I was learning, and to make things better, he sat at the front of the class after he was done and after 10 minutes he yelled: “Well, someone better have a question for me. I’m getting bored. Someone come see me for help!” From that moment on, my views on math changed and I began to excel and become very passionate about the subject.

I did have some struggles with some of the classes I took in University, but my love for the subject, my hard work and help from classmates made them easier to get through.  Personally, I believe that math is important to learn.  Most people don’t know it, but we use math in every day life situations. We use it in cooking, while shopping, finding the right dimensions and fits while building things.  People always overestimate math but never realize that they are unconsciously using it almost every day.  If one doesn’t take math, they will come across struggles during the day or realize while they are having difficulties with a certain task.  Math is more than just an equation or a simple process, it is something that one can benefit from and if they don’t have the basic knowledge and skills, they won’t realize how much it can affect their lives.   I knew I always wanted to be a teacher and that class made me realize that Math was going to be my specialty.  I want to be exactly like him.  I want to show the students how much I love math and show them that it is not a scary subject to learn.  I want to change their minds about the subject, like he did mine, I want to have fun examples, get right into the content and be so enthusiastic about the subject that it rubs off onto them.  People need to realize, like I did, that there is a lot more to math than just numbers and trying to solve pointless questions.  It is a challenging subject but in the end it can be one of the more rewarding experiences one can have.

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