View My Stats

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mathography VI

Another in Mathography series from my university students. I was particularly struck by this statement "When I'm stressed, Math calms me. When I'm in Math, I'm in my element, and when I'm doing Math, I'm more driven to do something with it, than I am with anything else. " Makes me wonder if this type of person would be a great math teacher or difficult one. Some times I think that the best teachers understand math but also understand the difficulty it represents for so many people.

I was in Mr. John Cameron's homeroom in sixth grade. He also happened to be my Math and Science Teacher. To this day, I'd say he has been the best all-around teacher I have ever had. Every one of my friends in my circle had Mrs. Joe, the meanest teacher on campus who always seemed to be more and more bitter every day. Oh the stories I'd hear about being in her class, I don't think she liked kids. So why teach? Mr. Cameron on the other hand loved his job and whether or not he loved us, he sure did make us feel like he came to work every single day of the week not only to make our day the better than the last, but to also try to make us fall in love with Math & Science or at least consider experiencing the fun in Math & Science. He definitely did it for me. I absolutely began to love Math since then. He'd dance around in the aisles of seats, become overly excited when you got the answer wrong - so that he could show common mistakes that we make in Math Problem Solving- use his talent of being able to imitate celebrity voices to explain a problem, and even create games we had never heard of before just to show us a very fun side of Math. He was great and in the sixth grade, I was the top Math student in our class. How could we not pass his class? It was so fun. Our P.O.W's (Problem of the Week) would turn into a huge production of how we think as students, kids, and how we need to think in the real world. This class was perfect for me.

Math wasn't always such a fun subject to me, in 7th grade, I definitely didn't like my Pre-Algebra class and didn't feel as connected to Math as I did in Sixth Grade. If I remember correctly, I wasn't feeling connected in any class that year. I ended up failing Pre-Algebra, Science, and History. So, my parents decided to transfer me to Newcomb Academy, 30 minutes from where we lived in Long Beach. I loved my school, especially since there where probably only 200 of us there in 6th to 8th grade, however, I had the most unorganized Math teachers I would ever have. Brilliant, but very unorganized. This forced me to be very pro-active in my learning of Math. I was more studious and more attentive to not only her class lectures, but paying more attention to the text provided for the class, I was definitely a Newcomb Nerd as they called us, but very proud of it.

In High School, I was definitely blessed to be in a program I'd like to continue here in the Bay Area, called KIUP- Keying Into University Preparation. This program started in 9th grade where those in the program would be with only two Math teachers, Mrs. Killian, and Mrs. Upham and in also be together in one Science Program. This Math program had us in University Preparation from 9th grade until 12th grade. Killian and Upham worked together with the CSULB Math Program where we would receive ample advice, classes, and preparations for college math and where CSULB Math majors and grad students were able to complete units in assisting all and teaching some of our Math classes. This class definitely geared me towards thinking about how I could get to where I want to be - Teaching in a Math Classroom. I would definitely like to teach a Math class soon and not only teach, but help create a program like KIUP where high school math teachers could work with the Math programs at universities to begin university preparations for Math, the latest at 9th grade.

I have definitely become very driven by Math and very focused by Math. When I'm stressed, Math calms me. When I'm in Math, I'm in my element, and when I'm doing Math, I'm more driven to do something with it, than I am with anything else. I am definitely there in life where it is time to make my decision of where I want to be in the education system. After all this time, I'm right back in my element of wanting to teach Algebra in Middle/High School and maybe even at the college level. I am definitely excited to begin that part of life.

No comments: