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Carissa Erdman
Dr. Best
Teaching Math in Secondary Schools
Revised November 17, 2015
Philosophy of Teaching
The purpose of mathematical instruction in education is, if nothing else, to discipline the
mind and expand ones knowledge in general education. However, mathematics has useful
applications to real world problems; even if the problem is not necessarily mathematical, the
problem solving skills learned in math class will greatly benefit students in the future.
Mathematics education should be devoted to the process and concepts behind why we do
what we do instead of simply rote memorization or mindlessly duplicating procedures.
In order to effectively teach mathematics, I will engage the students in the lesson. I will
differentiate my teaching methods and utilize styles such as lecture and workshop in order to
reach all of my students, who learn in different ways. Some students require examples written
on the board, while others require discovering concepts for themselves. A compilation of
different methods, used to complement the concept we are learning at the moment, will allow
me to successfully teach all of my students.
When assessing student progress, I will use a combination of test grades, homework
grades, class participation, and adherence to rules and regulations. Some things, such as tests,
will be weighted heavier than others, such as adhering to rules and regulations. However, this
gives students a chance to maintain a decent grade even if they are not the best at taking tests.
I also recognize that alternate methods of assessment may be necessary for some students.

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When grading tests, I will give students partial credit as well. For example, working out a
problem using the correct method but arriving at the wrong answer due to a simple
computational mistake will earn a student the majority of points for that problem.
I realize that inclusion is the norm, and I will participate in the recognition and
assistance of students with special needs in the classroom. This includes, but is not limited to,
ESL (English as a Second Language) students, students with disabilities, and gifted students.
Many successful strategies can be utilized that will benefit these particular students as well as
the entire class.
I also believe it is best to be strict in the area of discipline. I will establish classroom
procedures and enforce them. Students will be disciplined according to school policy. I will not
tolerate students misbehaving or disrupting class, but I also recognize that students will all
respond differently to disciplinary action. Thus, this is an area in which differentiation may be
necessary in order to truly create a safe, controlled environment.
In my classroom, I want students to feel free to ask questions. I want to create a safe
environment for them to explore and discover new things. I want to build strong studentteacher relationships which allow the students to learn from both success and failure in and
out of the classroom. Above all else, I want students to leave my classroom feeling like they
accomplished something. That may not look the same for every student. Some will excel, and
feel successful after completing a difficult problem. Some will have difficulties, and feel
successful after mastering the simple concept. If I can assist students in accomplishing their
goals, whether those goals are lofty or simple, then I will have succeeded as a teacher.