I made it! The mad dash to the end of the first quarter…. this year, the back to school crazies seemed to sustain themselves well beyond the normal. Usually singing Green Day’s “Wake Me Up When September Ends” can get me through it. This year, it seemed to last through the month of October and into mid November. Starting the year off with a hurricane and spending the past two weeks dealing with a freak late October snow storm hasn’t helped, but the stuff in between has been GOOD STUFF! Busy… but good! Having Tom Daccord inspire our faculty at opening meetings has really created an energy on campus that is contagious. Many are trying new things, taking risks and having a great time doing it. As a result, our labs and classroom sets of laptops are overbooked and we are making use of every bit of technology we have. I’m busy… my department is busy, but it’s for all the right reasons.
This year, I have the added pleasure of being evaluated. While this did add to my stress a bit, I found it so rewarding to put together a portfolio of my strengths and challenges as a teacher. Finally, last night, I was able to take some time to write my personal statement about teaching. It made me stop and think about who I am as a teacher and why I continue to do what I do. Here goes….
I believe that teaching is a lifelong learning process. It is my obligation, as a teacher, to continue to learn new ways to present material, new ways to connect with my students, new ways to assess student learning, and new ways to collaborate with my peers and colleagues. By continuing to learn and grow, I believe that I am providing the best opportunity and environment for my students. We are now in the 21st century, which makes me a 21st century educator. It is important for me to look forward and try to anticipate, as best as possible, the world that our students will live in. It is also my obligation to connect and collaborate with other educators to see what is working for them, and what I can “bring to the table” for my students. This is not to say that I forgo skills and the foundation that all students need to succeed in their study of mathematics; it’s all about finding the balance, getting my students excited about learning and making mathematics more relevant in their lives!
So… there it is. Now I can exhale.