This year starts my tenth year of teaching! I can not believe it. Time has gone by so fast. Each class since I step into a classroom I could call my own has changed me and made me into the teacher I am today. Since then I have become more organized, stricter in my rules and routines, I’ve changed my style of teaching, and I’ve become more reflective. All these things at some point during my undergrad studies have been a focus in one or more or my classes, but there is one issue that I find myself dealing with that undergrad did not prepare me for. It is what my coworkers like to call the reluctant learner. You know, the student that just will not take that first step to just try no matter what you do. Most of the time it is for fear of being wrong, which I can deal with, but there are times where a student will just choose not to participate no matter what you do as a teacher. In the beginning of my teaching career I did not know how to deal with this, at all. At some point it made me want to throw my hands up and say, I don’t know what to do, and let him or her sit there.I knew that wasn’t the right thing to do, so that’s where the use of interactive notebooks began. Who knew letting students use art supplies in math class would make such a big difference. I knew I was excited about it, but I didn’t think my students would buy into it so quickly. I still have my issues with my reluctant learners at times, but it is not as bad as it used to be. The use of interactive notebooks is just one thing that helped me. There are many other strategies out there that would be just as helpful if not better. There should be a class or a chance for new teachers to learn how to handle reluctant learners before they enter the classroom.
After visiting the math twitter blogosphere website here and committing to use blogging as mode to reflect and grow as a teacher, I’ve decided to put myself through the math blogging initiation. I figured it was the best way to start on the right foot and it would be a good way to get my writing juices flowing.
Each week, for four weeks, I will respond to one of the prompts available on Sam J. Shah’s site here.
I’m excited and nervous all at the same time. Writing about my thoughts, especially those relating to how and why I do what I do when I teach, has been difficult for me, but that is about to change…right?
Here goes nothin’!