Along The River

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 30 2011

Why Teaching is the Most Important Job in the World

Teaching is hard. Teaching is important. Not only do I need to teach my students 7th grade (well, and 6th and 5th and 4th…) this year, but I need to teach them how to learn. They have spent so much of their lives looking and acting like they were learning but not actually taking any of it in. The questions I get are, “Do I have to write that?” “Do I have to write the problem?” They are so worried about doing what they are supposed to do that they don’t even think critically about what they are writing or the examples they are doing. I try to break things down into steps and give examples that show the steps, but they don’t even know to reference the steps when they do their own practice problems. If they don’t learn how to learn soon, eventually they will stop trying. And that would be the worst thing. I can see the desire to learn in my students; they just don’t know how. That’s really what I need to teach them. Math is secondary. If they know how to learn they will be able to pursue their passions! So what if that passion isn’t math? I want my students to be lifelong learners and that is why I teach for America.

Also, someone’s gotta be there to get the snakes out of the classroom. Yep. There was a snake in my room today and I got it out. I hope my kids think that’s awesome.

2 Responses

  1. ryandwinn

    There was a snake in your room, BAMF

  2. Ms. Math

    can you ask your middle schoolers a problem that makes sense to them but doesn’t require just having steps memorized?

    How about “what patterns can you find in a 5 by 5 multiplication table?”

    Usually real problems that make logical sense, that they can apply reasoning to are good for this.

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