Sunday, January 14, 2018

Teach 180: Sometimes I Teach More Than Math (Day 84)

The reason I became a math teacher was because I truly love my subject and was told by one of my math teachers that I was good at working with students.  She said that I would ask questions that the students should be asking themselves, modeling the thinking process the students would need when working by themselves.  At that point, I thought that is all that teaching was.  Working with students on math and helping them to understand math.  In fact, that is what I thought it was for the first several years of my teaching career.

Well, teaching is more than just teaching a subject.  At the beginning of my career, I would have said that I am a math teacher.  Now, I say I am a teacher who just happens to teach math to high school students.  I say this because there is so much more that teachers teach their students than just a specific subject area.  We teach by the examples we set and we teach based on the stories we tell from our lives.  In advisory today, we were talking about the need to Speak Up! if we hear talk that is racist or stereotypical.  (The link takes you to the program that is being used within our school this year.) We looked at several scenarios and because my advisees were seniors, they had much to say on this topic.  There was also an alumnus who happened to be visiting the school and I invited him into my classroom to participate.  He gave some suggestions based on his experiences at college and even though I could have offered those same suggestions, the alumnus' words were probably seen as more valid than if I had said them.

There is no school on Monday, but I will be busy preparing a chapel talk, grading, finishing a consulting project and getting ready for the second semester.

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