An Experienced Amateur starts to blog

I am a 16 year veteran of teaching high school math.  I teach in a private Christian high school with supportive families, generally good kids who care about school, and high expectations for academic rigor. Like many teachers, I started out teaching pre-algebra and first year algebra, was “promoted” to second year algebra, and am now teaching Precalculus and AP Statistics.  (Somewhere along the line, I skipped geometry entirely, and I have found that to be a detriment to my math background at times.)  I have started this blog because I want to be part of the MathTwitterBlogoSphere (MTBoS) with all of its resources and teacherly camaraderie.

I consider myself “an experienced amateur” because I am an experienced teacher with strong content knowledge and classroom management skills and, I think, excellent rapport with my students.  I have developed much of my own curriculum over the years and my students are challenged and learn a lot in my class, but, BUT, I am always looking for better ways to motivate my students and communicate the beauty of mathematics.  I recognize that I am holding myself to an unattainable standard of perfection, but I can’t seem to help it.  I want to be an amazing math teacher, not just a good one, and I am not there yet.

Maybe this blog will help.  Help me to improve.  Help me to realize that I am not the only crazy perfectionist out there.  Help to realize that it is OK to strive and fall short of perfection and remain joyful and optimistic while doing so.

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7 thoughts on “An Experienced Amateur starts to blog

  1. You are not the only crazy perfectionist out there! 🙂

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  2. Hi Jane,
    I struggle with very similar perfectionist tendencies. The MTBoS is a great way to find good company for that, and also people who are growing in positive supportive ways. I look forward to hearing more about your explorations!

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  3. I think all good teachers are perfectionists. We would be doing our students a disservice if we weren’t. I have been thinking about this lately after a conversation with another fellow math specialist. We can’t settle for 80%, 90% (or what ever percent you want to name) of our students learning the content. We want to be such great teachers that 100% of our students learns and remembers everything. I wouldn’t be happy camper as a student, if I was part of that 10% that my teacher thought it was ok that they didn’t pass. I think we are perfectionists because we care so much about the students we work with… all of them, not 90% of them. (Getting off my soapbox now :)…)

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    • That is so true. The main reason I started SBG is because I felt that I failed two very hard working students last year who just couldn’t keep up with the pace of the class. You’re absolutely right. I am a perfectionist because I don’t want even one of my students to “fall through the cracks.”

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  4. Your words really resonated with me – I like to think of myself as an idealist, not a perfectionist. Sounds better ! I think that’s why I relate to teenagers as well – I think most teenagers are pretty idealistic. Welcome to MTBoS !

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