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MY PHILOSOPHY AS A MATHEMATICS TEACHER

Grace Jane B. Sinadjan


MAED-ME

Math is a very important element of everyday life. Years passed by, my teaching style and
philosophy is a concern for my students. I care deeply about each and every student and strive to
help all students reach their potentials both as students of mathematics and as people. I want math
to educational and fun.

Teaching math should be inclusive for all students. A good teacher can match his or her
lessons to the level of each student. If there is an exceptionally ingenious learner in the classroom,
they should be given more advanced assignments to challenge their mind. Similarly, if there are
students who are lesson adapt at mathematics, lessons should be adjusted for them as well. In this
way, all students can proceed together, but at a level that is best for them. I have found in my
experiences with my supervisory teacher and with my SPED students at the Bukidnon National
High School, teaching and learning mathematics involve more than just the mathematics itself.

Teaching and learning mathematics involve liveliness and commitment on the parts of both
the teacher and the learner. Liveliness and commitment energies my mathematics classroom and
motivates my students. I thoroughly enjoy and am excited by mathematics and the teaching of
mathematics. The atmosphere is communicable; I feel my students can sense my liveliness and
become more interested in mathematics themselves. I have found that nothing is more
motivational to students than genuine interest in what they are learning. A math teacher needs to
be especially engaging. Capturing the childrens attention is essential for comprehension. The
teacher needs to feel comfortable and enthusiastic about teaching math in order for the students to
feel comfortable and enthusiastic about learning math. If a teacher complains about how he or she
hates math and then tries teaching it with the same attitude, the students will adopt that same
feeling. Teach the joys and excitement of math by encouraging discovery and providing fun
worksheets and games to use along with regular instruction.

Teaching mathematics is also an active learning process. Students need hands-on activities
as well as skill practices. Manipulatives that pertain to the lesson are especially helpful for children
to visualize the concepts that they are talking about. When working with fractions, fraction circles
help students imprint the value of pieces in their minds. This most certainly involves the idea of
proper order of teaching a new concept. You begin with the concrete, hands-on ideas, and then
move to a bridging activity, which leads to the final abstract concepts. If a teacher proceeds in this
order, the students are more likely to succeed and follow the natural method of learning.

My mathematics classroom teaching has three main concern: 1) curriculum, instruction,


and assessment. First, Curriculum involves the knowledge of the subject matter, what to teach the
children and when. Using pacing guides or the Michigan Curriculum Framework, the best teacher
can decide on the correct use of curriculum for that particular group of students. Simple knowledge
of how children develop math concepts is important to understand. Second, instruction is the actual
teaching of the subject matter. This again involves the concrete, bridging, and abstract order of
instruction that best promotes student understanding. Being able to explain a new idea in several
different ways is a wonderful asset. Lastly, assessment is an essential component as well. By using
proper testing techniques, a teacher can gauge how much students already know, how much they
need to know, and what they learned. A teacher can therefore match curriculum and instruction
to the classroom he or she is in. For example, before teaching a lesson about money, a teacher can
create a worksheet that tests several different concepts related to money. Then after correcting the
papers, the teacher can determine how much time should be spent on a particular subsection of the
lesson on money. Then concluding should be a test-like worksheet that measures how much the
children learned and which ideas might need to be re-taught.

I believe that students learn mathematics best by doing mathematics and then working to
communicate about mathematics. Therefore, my classroom involves discussion among students
and with me. As a facilitator, I frequently use the Socratic method in class to elicit mathematical
thought and foster engagement with mathematical concepts. I have found that using multiple
representations of mathematical ideas (e.g., algebraic, graphical, and numerical) in my classroom
is beneficial for two reasons. First of all, different students learn in different ways, and one
representation may be easier for a student to understand than another. Secondly, knowing multiple
representations and methods of solution makes for better problem solving; if students know several
ways of attacking a problem, then there is a better chance of them being able to solve it. As an aid
to my use of multiple representations, I make use of technology in my classroom. Central to my
use of technology in the classroom is the idea that students must understand what they are doing
mathematically even when they use technology as an aid. Similar to the idea that students learn
mathematics in different ways, is that students also express mathematical understanding
differently. Consequently, I use multiple forms of assessment in my classroom to give students
the opportunity to explain their understanding of mathematics in a variety of ways. These forms
include such things as writing assignments, interviews, group quizzes, portfolios, and asking
students to write and solve their own problems, as well as the usual tests and homework.

My commitment I make to my students is to always be available to students outside of


class. To this end, I give my students ample time to meet with me in my office, furnish them with
my home phone number, and encourage them to communicate with and meet with me as often as
they can. Another part of my commitment is to strive to teach mathematics as well as possible. I
assess both how I have grown and how I continue to grow as I teach. From the time I began
teaching to the present, I can see many things that have develop in my teaching to make it more
responsive to and effective for my students. Some of this is from time spent preparing lessons and
self-evaluation of those lessons.

In my teaching growth is through feedback from my students. This is fostered especially


by the relationships that I have with my students. I make it clear to all students from the beginning
that they should talk to me if they ever have suggestions about how to improve my teaching. I
hold class meetings at least once per semester to discuss student concerns and class goals.

Lastly, at the end of every semester, I stress to my students that student evaluations are
important vehicles for helping me to become a better professor. I ask them to make suggestions
for things that I should change to improve my teaching as well as things that I should continue
doing because they found them to be beneficial. Using my evolutionary teaching style, I strive to
improve each and every time that I enter the classroom. Through my teaching style and methods
described here, it is my hope that my students leave the classroom excited by and knowledgeable
in mathematics and confident that I care about them and their mathematics learning.