Archive for October, 2013

MTBoS week 1

Posted: October 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

Week 1 challenge is to blog on one of two topics (favorite open-ended/rich problem or what makes your classroom distinct).

I believe that there are a few characteristics that make my classroom distinct, so I choose the “easier” writing prompt.  I have already blogged about my NO HOMEWORK philosophy.  Students are not requesting to “transfer” into my class because of it, but I truly believe in the philosophy.

Students want to be in my class for one reason: my ability to help students make the necessary connections that lead to student learning.  I believe in connections as much as I believe in no homework.  Both are at the very foundation of my teaching philosophy.  Learning occurs because of the connections made between the student and the material.  I look for connections to previous knowledge.  I look for connections to make the material relevant to the student.  I look for connections to future concepts.  Yet, the most important connection that I spend the most energy and effort looking for is creating a personal connection between myself and my students.  I am the teacher I am because of these connections.  I connect with students because I have a sense of humor.  I connect because I care.  I connect with students because I am passionate and persistent.  I connect because I strive for mastery from myself and from my students.  How do I show this?  I celebrate the small success, I go to their extracurricular activities, I ask about their weekend, I listen to their jokes (and I even tell my corny ones too), I notice when they seem down, I notice when they seem excited, I notice when they are tired, I notice, I notice, I notice.

Teaching is so much more than the math we teach.  Students want people to care about them.  Students want to connect with others.  I am not the only teacher who cares, but it does make my classroom distinct.