A few years ago, when I was struggling to be an effective math teacher, I heard myself say, "I'm not good at teaching math." When I stopped to think about that comment, I realized that even as a child, I had never said that I was good at math...ever. I had always "accepted" that my math skills were not high and I never remember questioning or attempted to change this.
I was then shocked when I asked my students about their ability in math and much to my dismay, some of those sweet little hands raised indicating they felt they were not "good at math." For a third grade student, (and know that I found this happens to children much younger as well), to tell me that they were not "good at math" was simply not acceptable.
It was then that I began working overtime, tapping into the exposure I had to some of the greatest master teachers in the field. From them, I learned many effective pieces regarding math instruction which I then combined with personal experiences and reliable research studies, to develop my own way of teaching math. This path has, ironically, has made me a significantly better mathematician than I have ever been...EVER!
As such, I will be sharing my tools of the trade with you so you can benefit from what I have learned and hopefully move you, your child, or your student to a different perception of math and ones ability to "do" it.
At the core of my instruction are three key factors that never change:
1 - Workbooks should only be used to support the real world.
2 - Always, always work backward from a real world "word problem" when teaching ANY concept.
3 - Teach formulas and rules for solving problems.
In my next post, I will begin to explain the specifics of each of these factors with the hope that it will help instructors, parents, and students alike to glide through math with a better understanding of what it is, how it works, and how to "do" math with greater success than before.
Talk soon -
The last few years have provided me with many unique academic experiences, most of which were due to the openness to share of many, many master teachers. I am simply a collection of many, looking to pass on the knowledge that was invested in me to others looking to do the same.