The first thing you should know about is that my #1 strength on StrengthsQuest is Achiever. That being said, grades are important to me. I strive for excellence and am visibly upset when it isn’t achieved. Math is the subject that has made me redefine the term “excellence”. Over the years I’ve learned to be proud of myself when it comes to math because it is a hard subject and a B is still excellent. That hasn’t always been the case though.
I remember staying after classes in Elementary school to get help from a teacher because I couldn’t get the material. I remember the countless days in my teacher’s classroom going over math trying to wrap my head around something others perceived to be so simple yet so complex in my mind. At a young age, my mindset was “I hate math and math hates me so why do I even try”. I also preferred to be only taught math when it was hands on. I hated when my teacher would tell me to read a chapter from my math book and learn the information through reading instead of doing the work on the board.
In middle school, it only got worse. In sixth grade, I was dropped from the honors course to the regular pre-algebra mid semester and that took a drastic toll on my confidence. I knew I was struggling but I didn’t think I was that horrible. The whole situation was out of the blue. I got called out of class one day and was told I was no longer in Honors math. Upon joining the regular class, I was getting A’s and felt under challenged which confused me even more. I spent the next two years of middle school in the regular math courses, fighting my advising officer to try to get back in Honors because I knew I could do it.
High school I was more determined to prove myself. I started freshman year in the honors cou...
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... real world today. Not to mention, it’s essential for students to be able to discuss, redefine, and critique theirs and others understanding of mathematics and ideas.
The past experiences also frame my thinking by letting me know why what I should do when it comes to my classroom when I start my teaching career. I know to validate student’s feelings when it comes to math, I know to help the students struggling (equity not equality), and to help whenever I can. It’s important to show the students you care about math, even if you don’t because the way your students see you interact and talk about math affects their thinking. I’ve realized I’m a hands on learner so my ideal classroom will have math posters as well as other specific subject posters. Math was more effective for me if I was able to use my hands and actually see the work done in front of me and work it out.

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